Top Historic Sights in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Explore the historic highlights of Karlovy Vary

St. Mary Magdalene Church

The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene is located in the very heart of the Karlovy Vary spa area, in the close proximity of the Hot Spring. The church bears the hallmarks of the High Baroque architecture and it is one of the most important Baroque monuments not only in Karlovy Vary, but in the entire Czech Republic. It was built in 1737 on the site of the former Gothic church. Its interior is decorated with a ...
Founded: 1737 | Location: Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Orthodox Church of St. Peter and Paul

The beautifully decorated, Byzantine style Orthodox Church of Saint Peter and Paul was erected between the years 1893 and 1898 according to the design of architect Gustav Widemann from Františkovy Lázně (Franzensbad). It was built in the fashion of the Byzantine-old Russian church in Ostankino near Moscow. The funds necessary for the construction of the church were raised among wealthy Serbian and Russi ...
Founded: 1893-1898 | Location: Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

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Historic Site of the week

Lübeck Cathedral

Lübeck Cathedral is a large brick-built Lutheran cathedral in Lübeck, Germany and part of the Lübeck UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1173 Henry the Lion founded the cathedral to serve the Diocese of Lübeck, after the transfer in 1160 of the bishop's seat from Oldenburg in Holstein under bishop Gerold. The then Romanesque cathedral was completed around 1230, but between 1266 and 1335 it was converted into a Gothic-style building with side-aisles raised to the same height as the main aisle.

On the night of Palm Sunday (28–29 March) 1942 a Royal Air Force bombing raid destroyed a fifth of the town centre. Several bombs fell in the area around the church, causing the eastern vault of the quire to collapse and destroying the altar which dated from 1696. A fire from the neighbouring cathedral museum spread to the truss of the cathedral, and around noon on Palm Sunday the towers collapsed. An Arp Schnitger organ was lost in the flames. Nevertheless, a relatively large portion of the internal fittings was saved, including the cross and almost all of the medieval polyptychs. In 1946 a further collapse, of the gable of the north transept, destroyed the vestibule almost completely.

Reconstruction of the cathedral took several decades, as greater priority was given to the rebuilding of the Marienkirche. Work was completed only in 1982.

The cathedral is unique in that at 105 m, it is shorter than the tallest church in the city. This is the consequence of a power struggle between the church and the guilds.

The 17 m crucifix is the work of the Lübeck artist Bernt Notke. It was commissioned by the bishop of Lübeck, Albert II. Krummendiek, and erected in 1477. The carvings which decorate the rood screen are also by Notke.

Since the war, the famous altar of Hans Memling has been in the medieval collection of the St. Annen Museum, but notable polyptychs remain in the cathedral.

In the funeral chapels of the southern aisle are Baroque-era memorials by the Flemish sculptor Thomas Quellinus.