St. Stephen's Cathedral

Litoměřice, Czech Republic

The St. Stephen's Cathedral is one of the most important cultural sites in the city. It is protected as a cultural monument of the Czech Republic.

Located on a hill in the place of an older church (originally a basilica) The temple was built in Romanesque style in 1057 and rebuilt in the 14th century in the Gothic style. In the presbytery is a large altar dedicated to St. Stephen, patron of the cathedral.

In the years 1662 to 1663 the original building was destroyed and in the years 1663-70 present cathedral was erected. The cathedral was consecrated in 1681. Today's cathedral tower replaced wooden baroque belfry in the years 1883-89.

There have been various modifications and repairs especially in 1716, 1778, 1825 and 1892.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1663
Category: Religious sites in Czech Republic

More Information

www.czech.cz
en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Vlastimil Polak (17 months ago)
It’s a really nice and calm place with a historical spirit
christian verzè (20 months ago)
Wonderful church in a wonderful square in a typical bohemian Baroc style
Mario Falzon (2 years ago)
Litomerice boasts two historical quarters. Mirove namesti, surrounded by colourful burghers’ houses is the centre of leisure activity. Lined on its south edge with parasol-shaded outdoor spaces set up by restaurant owners as a means of supplementing their indoor capacity, it is perhaps the only place in Litomerice where one can while the time away in leisurely pursuits. Cut off from the rest of the city and perched high on a hill top is the city’s second historical quarter. Unlike Mirove namesti, this is a people-less place of quietness and seclusion, a vast green square where the sole twin points of attraction are the massive Cathedral of St Stephen and its lofty freestanding bell tower. Known as Domsky Pahorek, this parkland of trees and turf is located on the isolated southwest periphery of the city centre, overlooking the River Elbe. The cathedral, intricately balanced on one corner of this grassy slope is a redesigned 17th-century version of an older original. This vast baroque structure and the additional complementary stonework ornaments on its exterior are both impressive. But go inside and you are faced with an austere gloomy space that instantaneously disappoints. The only relief is the set of chiaroscuro altarpieces from the school of Cranach the Elder. The imposing bell tower (opening times for visitors are the same as for the cathedral), constructed two centuries later stands some 10m away. Climb up the tower for a spectacular view over the city of Litomerice and the hillside area to the north. A sloping cobbled alleyway runs down along the north side of the cathedral (from here, the side views of the cathedral are superb) to the bottom of Domsky Pahorek. One of the modest houses you run into on the way is the former residence of the Czech poet Karel Hynek Macha. The flight of steps at the foot of the hill, aptly named Machovy Schody, connects to Mirove namesti.
Kelvin Eagleton (2 years ago)
We only climbed the tower to see the city. It was an easy walk up stairs (202 steps). Views are good at 3 directions only. Litoměřice and surrounding area is very nice city from up here.
Pavel Bílek (3 years ago)
Za to kilo to stojí ;)
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.