Basilica of St. Peter and Paul

Prague, Czech Republic

The Basilica of St Peter and St Paul is a neo-Gothic church in Vyšehrad fortress. Originally founded in 1070-1080 by the Czech King Vratislav II, the Romanesque basilica suffered a fire in the year 1249 and has been rebuilt in Gothic and later in neo-Gothic style. The basilica features an impressive stone mosaic above its entry, and its twin 58 m towers can be seen atop a hill to the south from along the Vltava River in central Prague.

The current building itself is a neo-Gothic basilica constructed between 1885 and 1903. The main part of the church consists of a nave with two side aisles; a large choir, sanctuary and apse; and two side rooms which hold a sacristy and a chapel for Panna Maria Šancovská Our Lady of the Ramparts.

History is the dominant element thematically of the interior décor; the history of art, Christianity and the Czech lands are all aspects of the decoration. As a piece of art history the church is something of an exhibition of Gothic, art nouveau and even Baroque pieces.

Along with the design of the building the main altar, the pulpit, and all the smaller altars in the side chapels are neo Gothic as well. They are intricately carved with mini-spires and tracery throughout. Even the organ which sits above the entrance has hollow spires matching those of the western towers. In addition, each chapel contains Gothic revival paintings. The theme of the stained glass windows is the history of Gothic architecture; each window portrays Jesus before a different Gothic or neo-Gothic church. Completing the tribute to the Gothic style is a large fresco at the eastern end of the northern aisle of the first Gothic church to stand on the spot.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1885-1903
Category: Religious sites in Czech Republic

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mel C (4 months ago)
Beautiful and peaceful here. Not many visitors today despite being a valentine’s day and Saint Valentines’ shoulder blade is being displayed here.
Chris Bing (5 months ago)
Really pretty church. A nice surprise up at the Vysehrad castle. Optional donation only.
Radu (6 months ago)
A very beautiful cathedral full of impressive stained glass. It is very big and the inner artwork is incredible. It is definitely worth to see and as a treat, after you visit it go check the belvedere points that are situated close by.
Makki 9313 (7 months ago)
Outstanding piece of architecture. You need to pay small entrance fee but beautiful stained-glass windows, sculptures and overall atmosphere are all worth it. Old cemetery surrounding the Basilica is also a mandatory stop.
Michael Romero (11 months ago)
Beautiful church. I only visited from the outside but the doors are so bright and beautiful. The position of the church on a hill provides such great views of the city which should not be overlooked. The church is like a mini saint Vitus. Don’t miss the cemetery behind the church it’s a hidden gem.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Moszna Castle

The Moszna Castle is one of the best known monuments in the western part of Upper Silesia. The history of this building begins in the 17th century, although much older cellars were found in the gardens during excavations carried out at the beginning of the 20th century. Some of the investigators, including H. Barthel, claimed that those cellars could have been remnants of a presumed Templar castle, but their theory has never been proved. After World War II, further excavations discovered a medieval palisade.

The central part of the castle is an old baroque palace which was partially destroyed by fire on the night of April 2, 1896 and was reconstructed in the same year in its original form by Franz Hubert von Tiele-Winckler. The reconstruction works involved an extension of the residence. The eastern Neogothic-styled wing of the building was built by 1900, along with an adjacent orangery. In 1912-1914, the western wing was built in the Neo-Renaissance style. The architectural form of the castle contains a wide variety of styles, thus it can be generally defined as eclectic.

The height of the building, as well as its numerous turrets and spires, give the impression of verticalism. The whole castle has exactly ninety-nine turrets. Inside, it contains 365 rooms. The castle was twice visited by the German Emperor Wilhelm II. His participation in hunting during his stay at the castle was documented in a hand-written chronicle in 1911 as well as in the following year. The castle in Moszna was the residence of a Silesian family Tiele-Winckler who were industrial magnates, from 1866 until the spring of 1945 when they were forced to move to Germany and the castle was occupied by the Red Army. The period of the Soviet control caused significant damage to the castle's internal fittings in comparison to the minor damage caused by WWII.

After World War II the castle did not have a permanent owner and was the home of various institutions until 1972 when it became a convalescent home. Later it became a Public Health Care Centre for Therapies of Neuroses. Nowadays it can be visited by tourists since the health institution has moved to another building in the neighbourhood. The castle also has a chapel which is used as a concert hall. Since 1998 the castle housed a gallery in which works of various artists are presented at regular exhibitions.

Apart from the castle itself, the entire complex includes a park which has no precise boundaries and includes nearby fields, meadows and a forest. Only the main axis of the park can be characterised as geometrical. Starting from the gate, it leads along the oak and then horse-chestnut avenues, towards the castle. Further on, the park passes into an avenue of lime trees with symmetrical canals running along both sides of the path, lined with a few varieties of rhododendrons. The axis of the park terminates at the base of a former monument of Hubert von Tiele-Winckler. On the eastern side of the avenue there is a pond with an islet referred to by the owners as Easter Island. The islet is planted with needle-leaved shrubs and can be reached by a Chinese-styled bridge. The garden, as part of the whole park complex was restored slightly earlier than the castle itself. Preserved documents of 1868 state that the improvement in the garden's aesthetic quality was undertaken by Hubert von Tiele-Winckler.