Sunday, 21 November 2010
This week is also the anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of one of his most inspiring original achievements, the neo-Gothic church of St Ludmila in Vinohrady, whose rose window we see here reflecting the winter sunlight.
Begun in 1888, the church took four years to build, and played an active role in the spiritual life of Vinohrady until the advent of Communism, when priests were debarred from working and often ended up in prison, working in factories, or - like the cardinal of Prague - as a window-cleaner (not this window, presumably). In 1974 St Ludmila was shut completely during the construction of a major hub of the Prague underground system at Náměstí Míru.
Since the revolution of 1989, churches have been open again for worship - and St Ludmila still attracts a good Sunday congregation, despite the fact that (in contrast to neighbouring Poland) fewer than one fifth of present-day Czechs say they believe in God, or indeed a god of any kind.