Saturday, 14 November 2009

Church of St Wenceslas, Čechovo Námestí

As 1929 was the millennium anniversary of the martyrdom of St Wenceslas, three church-building projects were undertaken across the city of Prague. The cathedral of St Vitus in Prague Castle - begun in the 14th century - was finally completed, along with two entirely new projects: the church of the Sacred Heart in Vinohrady; and this extraordinary functionalist building in Vršovice, designed by Josef Gočár and dedicated to St Wenceslas himself.

The prayer over the door reads 'Saint Wenceslas, do not let us or our descendants perish'. The graffiti underneath is a more mysterious dedication to 'Cle's Crew', dating from 2009.

The 150' white concrete tower with its prism-glass window dominates a square named in honour of Czech writer Svatopluk Čech (1846-1908), whose satirical works in which a time-travelling bourgeois Praguer gets caught up in the religious wars of the 15th century were turned into an opera by Janáček called The Excursions of Mr Brouček

Note: the eagle-eyed will have noticed the small projection jutting out at the base of the glazed tower. I had always thought this was decorative rather than functional. It turns out it was a plinth, patiently waiting for eighty years (until September 2010) to receive its occupant.


Jilly said...

My goodness, that is such a modern church. I prefer Saint Ludmilla's a couple of days ago. Such things are so subjective tho.

Welcome to the City Daily Photo community, Alex.

Alex said...

It's amazing that this church was built less than forty years after St Ludmila's (1893)!!!

Joe said...

wow! I love that the grafittists "got it" as well..

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