The Mystery of Faith
St. James Basilica |
60 minutes |
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Irena Chřibková (Czech Republic)
The St. James´s organ is the largest organ in Prague and second largest in the Czech Republic. The two-manual organ with a pedal keyboard and 26 stops was completed in 1705 by Abraham Stark of Loket.
The organ´s case, which is still admired today, was quite unique in its time. So far the latest major reconstruction was carried out between 1981 and 1982 by "Varhany Krnov" (Rieger-Kloss). At present the organ has four manuals, 91 speaking stops and 8,277 pipes.
More information about organ
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The impressive interior of the St. James Basilica is a treasury of Baroque art. Since the 13th century, St. James Basilica belonging to the Franciscan order has been an important spiritual center of Prague. It has been also a stop on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Throughout history, the church was spared from destruction by butchers' guild who had their meat market close by.
Of many legends related to the church the most famous is the legend of a thief whose severed hand of sin is still hanging on a chain in the church. In 1976, the Pope Paul VI. granted to the church a honorary title of Basilica Minor.
The origin of St. James' large organ dates to the very beginning of the 18th century. After a major fire in 1689, a new organ was built by Abraham Stark of Loket, who had by then already produced several organs for various localities in Bohemia. The new two-manual organ was completed in 1705. The organ´s case, which is still admired today, was also unique for its time.
In 1941, the organ was enlargened and the Romantic disposition was added to original Baroque one. The latest reconstruction was completed in 1982 by „Varhany Krnov“ (Rieger-Kloss). All of Stark’s original voices, mostly including original pipes, were preserved, as well as many interesting Romantic tone-colours. At present the organ has four manuals, 91 speaking stops and 8,277 pipes.
See the detailed information about the organ.
Organ concerts in St. James's Basilica are considered among the best concerts in Prague.