Cathedral of St. Nicholas, Show all 11 places in Prague » Prague11
- Staroměstské nám. 1101, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia
- Working hours*:
Monday - Saturday 10.00-16.00
- * - opening and closing times as well as entrance prices, are subject to alterations without notice. Visitors are advised to check before visiting.
- 50.0879030, 14.4194883 Copy to clipboard Copy
History of the Church of St. Nicholas in Stare Mesto in Prague
Already in the 13th century, on the Old Town Square, on the very spot where the Cathedral of St. Nicholas is now, there was a parish Gothic church with a cemetery. And a little further away - the house of the local priest and the parish school.
It is also known that in the troubled for Bohemia (as the future Czech Republic was then called) of the XIV century, the namesake and in some way forerunner of the famous Jan Hus, the former rebel canon Jan Milich, aka Jan from Kromeriz, read his bright, accusatory sermons in this church. the benefits of the then European civilization for the priesthood, which repeatedly demanded in these sermons the secularization of church property and general church reform.
Since then, the church has been rebuilt several times and, in the end, nothing has remained of its original appearance.
In the 18th century, by the diligence of the Czech architect of German origin Kilian Dientzenhofer, a new Baroque cathedral was erected, the main portal of which was decorated with statues by his compatriot of Austrian origin (then the Czech Republic was part of Austria-Hungary), the sculptor Antonin Braun. And the frescoes in it were painted by the artist from Bavaria Peter Azam.
The originally rebuilt temple was run by Benedictine monks. And in the era of the Napoleonic wars, oddly enough, he served as an elevator - that is, a warehouse with grain.
A hundred and fifty years after the drastic restructuring of the dilapidated cathedral, at a time when the eyes of all Balkan Slavs were turned towards Russia, the fate of Dientzenhofer's creation took an entirely unexpected turn - it was leased to the Russian Orthodox Church.
It is said that Count PA Golenishchev-Kutuzov played the main role in the transfer of the church in the name of the most popular saint of the Russian Orthodox Church.
After the consecration of the Church of St. Nicholas according to the Orthodox rite in 1874, its construction began in a new way. The money for this good cause, as usual, was collected by the whole world, by subscription throughout Russia. At the same time, the Holy Synod took care of providing the local clergy with liturgical books and various church utensils, and the Moscow Duma members allocated funds for casting bells.
After the well-known events of 1917 and, in particular, after the Civil War in Russia, Prague became one of the largest Russian emigre centres in Europe, and the Church of St. Nicholas on Old Town Square, even though its lease was terminated due to the beginning The First World War of 1914 was a place of attraction and home for hundreds of Russian people who left their Motherland.
And at the end of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, the temple was transferred to the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, which broke away from the Roman Catholic Church more than two decades before.
Since the 1990s, the Church of St. Nicholas on the Old Town Square in Prague has been privately owned.
In the new century, in memory of the fact that once, albeit not for long, this temple with such a difficult fate was Russian, on Orthodox Christmas and Easter, an Orthodox procession is performed under its walls.
Cathedral today: what to see in St. Nicholas Church
The main attraction of the church or the church of St. Nicholas, St. Mikulas is the crystal chandelier (or choros, in other words, a chandelier), donated to this church on behalf of Emperor Alexander II himself. This chandelier was made in the form of an imperial crown by the workers of the formerly famous glass manufactory (now a glass factory and glass museum) in the Czech city of Harrachov. And the reason for such a generous gift was the next birthday of the Heir to the Tsarevich and Grand Duke Nicholas, the eldest son of the Emperor, who is the same name as the main saint of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The interior of the cathedral, in which today white and gold colours are predominant, is already an attraction in itself - the organ decorated with figurines of angels in gilded robes and stained glass windows with images of St. Nicholas (Mikulas) and St. Wenceslas deserve the unconditional attention of its visitors.
According to legend, Mozart himself once played the organ. Now, in the period from April to November, the cathedral hosts concert seasons and during this time there are daily concerts.
Other local attractions: the Jan Hus monument in front of the cathedral itself and the aforementioned statues by Antonin Braun at the main portal.
How to get there
The nearest station of Prague underground with the same name is "Old Town", literally three hundred meters from the cathedral. The distance from the metro to the destination is easily covered on foot in an average of three minutes.
In addition, there is a bus route №194 near the cathedral - from the bus stop to the cathedral, it is just a stone's throw away, less than one minute on foot.