Cathedral of the Divine Saviour, located in the center of Ostrava, is the second largest Roman Catholic cathedral in Moravia and Silesia. This three-nave Neo-Renaissance basilica with a semi-circular apse and two 67m high towers dates from 1889 (building started in 1883). The church was designed by Gustav Meretta, the official architect of the Archbishop of Olomouc, and the interior by Max von Ferstel.
The main nave is 14 m wide and 22 m high, the two side aisles are 7 m wide and 10 m high each. The seating capacity of the cathedral is 4,000 people. On May 30, 1996 Pope John Paul II established the Diocese of Ostrava-Opava, and soon after the basilica has been dignified into a cathedral. In 1998, a new neo-baroque organ has been installed.
The foundation stone was laid by Mayor Anton Lux and the Reverend Josef Spurný on October 4, 1883. AT that time church committees were competing in Moravia which was established under provincial laws dating from 1864 and 1874. It was the supervisory and executive bodies, which were often the purchaser of furniture projects and new churches, significantly encroached into their final form. Their arguments focused, in particular, on situations where the parish volume was small. The church of the Divine Saviour would serve 4 municipalities which, upon its construction, should contribute a proportionate financial amount. However these villages managed their own parish church and, therefore Ostravanians' contributions to the construction of the church were often the cause of discord. Other financial flow was rather paradoxical. The Archdiocese of Olomouc, who took patronage of the church, was obliged, by patronage law, to pay a third of construction costs, worth just under 33,000 florins. Contributions also flowed in from Jewish entrepreneurs, like Baron Rotschild and the Gutmannové brothers.References:
The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is a Baroque monument built in 1716–1754 in honour of God. The main purpose was a spectacular celebration of Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia between 1713 and 1715. The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way. The column is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
The column is dominated by gilded copper sculptures of the Holy Trinity accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel on the top and the Assumption of the Virgin beneath it.
The base of the column, in three levels, is surrounded by 18 more stone sculptures of saints and 14 reliefs in elaborate cartouches. At the uppermost stage are saints connected with Jesus’ earth life – his mother’s parents St. Anne and St. Joachim, his foster-father St. Joseph, and St. John the Baptist, who was preparing his coming – who are accompanied by St. Lawrence and St. Jerome, saints to whom the chapel in the Olomouc town hall was dedicated. Three reliefs represent the Three theological virtues Faith, Hope, and Love.
Below them, the second stage is dedicated to Moravian saints St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who came to Great Moravia to spread Christianity in 863, St. Blaise, in whose name one of the main Olomouc churches is consecrated, and patrons of neighbouring Bohemia St. Adalbert of Prague and St. John of Nepomuk, whose following was very strong there as well.
In the lowest stage one can see the figures of an Austrian patron St. Maurice and a Bohemian patron St. Wenceslas, in whose names two important Olomouc churches were consecrated, another Austrian patron St. Florian, who was also viewed as a protector against various disasters, especially fire, St. John of Capistrano, who used to preach in Olomouc, St. Anthony of Padua, a member of the Franciscan Order, which owned an important monastery in Olomouc, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a patron of students. His sculpture showed that Olomouc was very proud of its university. Reliefs of all twelve apostles are placed among these sculptures.
The column also houses a small chapel inside with reliefs depicting Cain's offering from his crop, Abel's offering of firstlings of his flock, Noah's first burnt offering after the Flood, Abraham's offering of Isaac and of a lamb, and Jesus' death. The cities of Jerusalem and Olomouc can be seen in the background of the last mentioned relief.