St. Wenceslas Church (Vršovice)

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St Wenceslas Church
Kostel sv. Václava ve Vršovicích
Praha kostel SvVaclava.jpg
The Church of Saint Wenceslas
St Wenceslas Church is located in Czech Republic
St Wenceslas Church
St Wenceslas Church
50°4′8″N 14°27′33″E / 50.06889°N 14.45917°E / 50.06889; 14.45917Coordinates: 50°4′8″N 14°27′33″E / 50.06889°N 14.45917°E / 50.06889; 14.45917
LocationPrague
CountryCzech Republic
DenominationRoman Catholic
History
StatusActive
DedicationSt Wenceslas
Architecture
Functional statusParish Church
Architect(s)Josef Gočár
Groundbreaking1929
Completed1930
Specifications
Height50 metres
Administration
ParishVršovice Prague
ArchdiocesePrague
Clergy
ArchbishopDominik Duka
Pastor(s)Stanisław Góra
Deacon(s)Pavel Svarc

The Church of Saint Wenceslas (Czech: Kostel sv. Václava) is a Roman Catholic church in Vršovice in Prague 10, Czech Republic. The church was built in 1930 as a commemoration of the 1,000th anniversary of the death of St. Wenceslas.

Description[edit]

Model of the church by sculptor Jan Roith in the National Technical Museum (Prague)

This was one of three new buildings constructed in 1929 in Prague inspired by the 1000th anniversary of the death of St. Wenceslas.[1] This is the Saint Wenceslas who features in the Christmas carol "Good King Wenceslas", which was based on a poem written by Václav Alois Svoboda[2] The most expensive construction for Wenceslas's commemoration in Prague was the completion of the medieval cathedral, but the Catholic Church also decided to build two new churches. One church was to be built at Jiřího z Poděbrad - the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord by Jože Plečnik and this one, which was to be built on a former cemetery in Svatopluk Čech square in Vršovice.[1]


There was already a church in Vršovice dedicated to St. Nicholas whose history went back, via several buildings on the site, to the 11th century,[3] but this was to be a new church. The idea of a new church had started in 1864 but the process was slow and it took till 1902 to establish a committee to create a new church for Vršovice.[4]

Interior of the church

The design of the new church was settled by competition with over 50 entries being short-listed to three. Czech architect Josef Gočár was the winner with a daring Constructivist design. The foundation stone was laid in May 1929 and the church was consecrated by Francis Kordac, the Archbishop of Prague on 21 September 1930.[5] It is said that the overall plan was made by the architect to have a hall that led to the presbytery to cope with the sloping ground.[1]

The building is dominated by the 50-metre tower with a large seven-metre cross as its top. The tower also incorporates a clock and it is possible to climb to this and the top just using a ladder.[1] The tower has five bells and the cross at the top is lighted at night.[5]

The windows in the church were replaced in 1998 during a refurbishment[1] Up to that date the glass chosen was Luxfer glass which is a glass covered in small prisms which directed the light in the architect's desired direction.[6]

The church was open in September 2012 as part of the European Heritage Days initiative.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Church of St. Wenceslas in Vršovice, Hundred -spired Prague, Praha.eu, retrieved 17 November 2013
  2. ^ Paces, Cynthia (2009). Prague panoramas national memory and sacred space in the twentieth century. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 57. ISBN 0822977672.
  3. ^ Church of St. Nicholas in Vršovice, virtualni.praha.eu, retrieved 16 November 2013
  4. ^ History, farnostvrsovice.cz, retrieved 18 November 2013
  5. ^ a b Church of St Wenceslas in Vršovice, 1pragueguide, retrieved 18 November 2013
  6. ^ Luxfer Prism Glass Tiles, steinerag.com, retrieved 18 November 2013
  7. ^ Praha 10 spouští QRpedii. Památky označkuje QR kódy, Lucas Vaclavik, September 2012, CNews.cz, retrieved 17 November 2013