Rotunda of the Holy Cross

Prague, Czech Republic

The Rotunda of the Holy Cross is the oldest Romanesque rotunda in Prague. It was built in the 11th century. The first mention of the Rotunda of the Holy Cross is from 1365, but it was probably built already at the end of the 11th century. It is a small simple building with a rounded nave and an apse. A lantern at the cupola has a gilt cross, a crescent moon and an eight-pointed star at the top.

Rotunda of the Holy Cross was probably a private chapel belonging to some of the mansions in Prague Old Town. There used to be a parsonage nearby and a cemetery around.

Dominicans gained the rotunda in 1625. Emperor Joseph II. abolished the chapel in 1784, as well as many other churches, and it became a private storage. It was planned to demolish the rotunda in 1860 because of building a new house at the place, but it was finally saved.

There are remains of Gothic wall paintings from 14 th century inside. The most valuable Gothic fresco is the “Three Magi veneration”. There are also some remains of tombstones from 13 th century.

The legend about the origin of the rotunda says, that there used to be a lake at the place originally. A crucified girl, punished for her Christian belief, was thrown there with her cross. The cross reared up during a storm, which was regarded as a God´s sign. A large dozy cross was really found in the foundations of the rotunda, when it was restored.

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Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in Czech Republic

More Information

www.prague.cz
www.prague.eu

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Christoph Moser (6 months ago)
Very nice, for a quick look.
uncle em (7 months ago)
A beautiful old church in the downtown area of Prague.
Tracey Sedlakova (2 years ago)
My son is studying Romanesque architecture and I wanted to show him an original rotunda, not a reconstruction like St Martin in Vysehrad. We were quite disappointed that it’s under scaffolding and netting, but we are quite happy that it is clearly being maintained. Hope to return when it’s repaired…
Eagle Eye (5 years ago)
The Rotunda of the Finding of the Holy Cross has been here since the 12th Century, and is located in the exact centre of Prague. An unusual looking building which is currently used by the Catholic Church. It is open for service on Sundays and Tuesdays at 6pm.
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