Church of St. Bartholomew

Kolín, Czech Republic

The Church of St. Bartholomew in Kolín is a significant Gothic religious building. The early Gothic church was probably founded shortly after the establishment of the royal town of Kolín in the mid-13th century. Archaeological finds indicate that there was already another church on its site before. The founder and builder was probably King Přemysl Otakar II. The construction was initially led by the Přemyslid building guild. It was based on contemporary Saxon, Thuringian, and northern French models. The construction was completed before 1300 with the construction of two slender octagonal towers on the western façade.

In 1349, the church burned down. To restore it, Charles IV summoned his court architect, Peter Parler, in 1360. At that time, he was already supervising the construction of St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague. In Kolín, he started building a new, high choir on the site of the original presbytery. The restored church was consecrated in 1378.

In the late 15th century, the ringing of the north tower disrupted the statics. Therefore, in 1504, a separately standing octagonal bell tower was added, where the bells from the damaged tower were transferred. Until 1756, they were hung upside down. In 1728, a clock, first mentioned in 1494, was transferred to the wall of the bell tower.

On the south tower hung (probably from 1442) the legendary Vužan bell, cast from bell metal with a high proportion of silver and equipped with a band of pure gold. It was subject to special security measures and guarded as one of the city's greatest treasures. However, it was destroyed in a major city fire in 1796. At that time, the clock was also destroyed, and the interior of the church was damaged.

In the second half of the 19th century, architect Josef Mocker led an extensive puristic reconstruction of the church (similarly to St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague or Karlštejn Castle). For this purpose, the Society for the Completion of the Dean's Church in Kolín was founded in 1878. The restoration was completed in 1910. In 1945, the church was damaged by a bomb explosion during an air raid. A general reconstruction began in 1963 and continues to this day. In 1995, the church complex was declared a national cultural monument.


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Founded: 13th century
Category: Religious sites in Czech Republic


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Hanys (18 months ago)
incredible, beautiful!
Maksym Gorbatykh (2 years ago)
The most beautiful historical part of Kolín with unique bell tower.
Pavel Srb (2 years ago)
Must see cathedral in Kolín. Newly refurbished terrace.
Petr Litera (4 years ago)
Together with St. Vitus in Prague and Sta. Barbara in Prague, the third large sacral building by the medieval master Petr Parler, protege of Charles IV. Interiors are difficult to access and might not be considered as decorative as the other two locations, but I would recommend to climb the watch tower. The vistas to the city centre are just amazing. Nearby City Museum and the Paleo-Museum of the Stone Ages in the house of Jindrich Jindrich are also worth seeing. And once there, do not forget the Jewish city and synangogune at the other end of the lane.
Tomas Fer (5 years ago)
Beautiful gothic church, recently renovated. Nearby street is the most beautiful place in Kolin. Church accessible during church services.
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