Prague’s most famous Baroque church, the St. Nicholas Church, is located in the middle of the Lesser Town Square. It should not be confused with St. Nicholas Church on the Old Town Square. The church on the Lesser Town is one of the most magnificent of its kind.
History of the Baroque Church
The former Gothic church was consecrated in 1283 by St. Nicholas and handed over to the Jesuits in 1620. Those planned a large-scale extension of the church to a high school, a workhouse and a new church. However, the plans for the church took longer than expected, which delayed the construction of the church until 1703. The architect Dientzenhofer finally took over the construction, but it would take three generations before the church was completed. Until 1711, front and the nave of the church were built. Subsequently, until Dientzenhofer’s death in 1722, there was further construction at the cathedral. Finally Dientenzenhofer’s son took over the management and the church was completed in 1752.
The St. Nicholas Church Today
The height of the dome is 50m from the inside and 70m from the outside. The ornaments of the church are an artistic masterpiece, which was created by the Viennese painter Johann Lucas Kracker. He did not want to be disturbed while working under any circumstances. The more than 50 sculptures in the church are also worth a look. They were created in the workshop of Ignaz Franz Platzer.
Tourists can climb the church tower at any time of the year. Particularly interesting is the large ceiling painting, which measures 1500m2 and includes a hidden monk, who secretly observed the painter while working, but did not remain unnoticed so that he was integrated into the picture by Kracker. Imposing is also the big organ with more than 4000 pipes on which even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played when he visited Prague.