Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit is a late Gothic brick basilica, with two towers, is located in the southwestern corner of Velké Square in Hradec Králové.

History

10th to 13th Century: The city’s historical center began as a Slavonic settlement in the 10th century, transforming into a medieval town by 1225. The first parish church was St. Clement's, replaced by the Holy Spirit Cathedral built by the Teutonic Knights between 1238 and 1250. This church was destroyed by a fire in 1339.

14th Century: The new church construction began in phases after the 1339 fire. Queen Elizabeth Richeza of Poland, who chose Hradec Králové as her residence, significantly influenced its development. Initial construction from 1339-1342 included the presbytery and two towers. A second phase under Queen Elizabeth of Pomerania, wife of King Charles IV, aimed to complete the church, but another fire in 1407 caused further delays. Despite Hussite Wars interruptions, the church was completed in 1463, featuring a triple nave.

15th to 20th Century: A fire in 1484 necessitated more repairs, including new towers and bells. The church was looted and partly burnt by Swedish soldiers in 1639. It became a cathedral in 1664 and underwent several renovations, including a major Neo-Gothic restoration from 1864-1876.

Interior and Exterior

The interior was enriched by donations from queens, with influences from Prague masters. The whitewashed walls, ribbed vaults, and circular keystones are notable features. The exterior showcases a striking red brick and white sandstone contrast, a rare Gothic architectural style in the Czech Republic. The cathedral also contains important historical elements like Renaissance tombstones and a late Gothic Marian triptych.

Significance

The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit is the only medieval Gothic church remaining in the city and suburbs, as others were demolished for military fort construction in the 18th century.

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Details

Founded: 1339-1342
Category: Religious sites in Czech Republic

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

BOSS B (7 months ago)
Really beautiful church ? if you are ever in HK, go there to see it is right on the square ??
Erzsébet Kovács (9 months ago)
Beautiful cathedral
Daniel Bogacki (12 months ago)
The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit is an example of pure Flame Gothic. We were surprised by two scenes. The cathedral was open, but at the beginning of the mass the number of believers was the same as the number of priests and altar boys. The first two benches in one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have ever seen were occupied. Outside, we were enchanted not only by the slender Gothic walls full of decorations but also located right next to the cornice crowning the lizards. There are also Polish accents on the cathedral - a plaque commemorating John Paul II.
Cinzia Groppi (2 years ago)
Beautiful church, mature Gothic, located on the main square of Hradec Kralove. What struck me most, inside, is a canvas by a painter not known to me, very effective, obviously with a religious subject. Too bad it was poorly lit....
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