Cathedral of Saint Lawrence - Prague, Czech Republic
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 50° 04.990 E 014° 23.770
33U E 456799 N 5548052
Quick Description: The Cathedral of Saint Lawrence is located at the top of Petrin hill in Prague, Czech Republic. The oldest part of the church dates from 1135. The church is now used as a music and exhibition hall.
Location: Hlavní město Praha, Czechia
Date Posted: 9/9/2014 6:54:01 AM
Waymark Code: WMMEGR
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 23

Long Description:
"The Cathedral of Saint Lawrence (Katedrála svatého Vavrince in Czech), standing at the top of Petrín hill in the Lesser Town, is a church, which serve as the cathedral of the Old Catholic Church in the Czech Republic. With its altitude of 327 metres above sea level this was the highest place in Prague for a long time.

The cathedral is located on a site, where pagan Slavs made their ceremonies and lighted sacred fires and where princess Libuše, according to a legend, made a prophecy about future splendour and fame of Prague. It is said that Duke Boleslav II (by request of Prague bishop Saint Adalbert) had a small church built there, consecrated to Saint Lawrence.

The oldest written source about the chapel of Saint Lawrence dates back to 1135. In that time it was a single-nave romanesque building with an apse on the east end and a tower on the west. The walls of this Romanesque building are partially preserved in the present church. It was built probably during the reign of Duke Sobeslav I and was similar in style to the church of the Holy Cross in the Old Town, which is now also used by the Old Catholic Church.

In 1590 the chapel was restored by George Henry of Frankenstein. In the 18th century the church was reubilt due to P. Norbert Saazer and the Guild of Prague cooks. The construction lasted from 1730s to the year 1780. The project was made by architect K. I. Dientzenhofer. A new monumental Baroque north face of the building was created, with statues of Holy Trinity, St John of Nepomuk and St Mary Magdalene. There is also the coat of arms of prior František Strachovský ze Strachovic, who oversaw the building work. In the niche there is a statue of St Adalbert.

As for the furnishings, the most notable item is a painting of the martyrdom of St Lawrence by Burgundian painter Jean Claud Monnot on the right side altar. Today’s interior is a work of Architect Jirí Pelcl, including a modern crucifix, hanging from the ceiling."

--Prague Wiki (visit link)

"Before Malá Strana was established, this church was a part of the settlement named Nebovidy, and it was a single-aisle Romanic building from the mid-12th century. There was originally a tower between the square chancel and the church aisle. The fact that the church was built in Romanic style using Greek masonry was discovered quite accidentally around 1955 by dr. Vladimír Píša, who measured and sketched the church. The aisle was about 12 m long and 7 m wide. There were remains of two windows also dating back to the Romanic era, which were bricked in during later reconstructions. An extensive Gothic reconstruction in around 1378 added a side aisle to the church, with a cross vault and a sacristy. Around 1390, the interior of the church was decorated with beautiful paintings by an unknown author, who learned in the workshop of the Master of the Trebon Altar. Among the most beautiful paintings, there is the painting of St. Dorothea and St. Lawrence, Virgin Mary and St. Andrew. The painting Martyrdom of St. Erasmus and St. Lawrence is conceived as Gothic, while the Birth of the Lord, Adoration of the Magi and Annunciation to the Shepherds belong to Romanic style. The wall paintings were discovered in 1988, when the Gothic plaster was exposed. After that, the remains of the paintings were restored. The interior was returned to its original beauty thanks to efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Látal together with other restorers.

The church also went through a Baroque reconstruction, and in 1784 it was abolished, sold together with the surrounding cemetery, and changed to a residential house with small flats. In 1935 it was purchased by the Czechoslovak Church in order to return the church into the original state, but they did not have enough money. It was not until the years 1985 - 91 that the dilapidating object went through a general reconstruction according to a project of ing. arch. Josef Hyzler. The church was turned into a musical and exhibition hall, with maximum possible preservation of its original architectural qualities. It is namely used for the concerts within the festival Prague Spring, concerts of the Club of Prague Spring Friends, and for recording Renaissance and Baroque music. This was also made possible by the installation of a newly restored exquisite organ from the workshop of a prominent Czech organ-maker Bedrich Semerád in 1995. The reconstruction of the organ positive (i.e. the small organ) was carried out by the organ company of Vladimír Šlajch in Borovany near Ceské Budejovice. The concert hall has a capacity of approximately 100 visitors."

--Source (visit link)
Petrin Hill Prague Czech Republic

Religious affiliation: Catholic

Date founded or constructed: 1135

Web site: [Web Link]

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