G. F. Händel, F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
St. Nicholas Church Lesser Town |
60 minutes |
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The most famous Baroque church in Prague, The Church of St Nicholas, can be found on the Lesser Town square next to the former Jesuit college. With the neighbouring belfry, St Nicholas is the most distinctive landmark in the Lesser Town, completing the unique panorama of Prague.
The Church of St Nicholas, designed according to the model of main Jesuit church Il Gesù in Rome, is a superb example of High Baroque architecture, a temple that astonishes with its size and magnificently decorated interior.
Creation of three generations of architects, it was designed and successively built by father and son Dientzenhofers, Kryštof and Kilian Ignác, and completed by the son-in-law of the latter, Anselmo Lurago. The construction lasted for almost fifty years (from 1703 to 1752) and the temple was decorated by leading artists of the era, such as Ignác František Platzer (inside and outside statues), František Xaver Palko (frescoes), Jan Lukáš Kracker (frescoes), Karel Škréta (paintings), Johann Hennevogel (stucco) and many others.
Due to its artistic qualities, St Nicholas Church is today considered one of the most valuable Baroque buildings north of the Alps.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played the church's main organ during his stay in Prague. Shortly after his death the requiem mass for Mozart was served in St. Nicholas church, with members of the Prague Theatre Orchestra performing Requiem in Es by František Antonín Rössler.
Thanks to the music tradition St. Nicholas Church in Lesser Town has been one of the most important centers of cultural life and sacred and classical music in Prague. Nowadays, concert dramaturgy revolves not only around the liturgical year but also around national holidays celebrated in various countries.