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St. Martin in the Wall Church

GPS: 50°4'59.16"N, 14°25'10.56"E

An interesting and romantic spot in the Old Prague town is the close surroundings of church of St Martin in the Wall. It is possible to get to one of the oldest Prague sacral architectures in three ways. Through a short passageway from the National Avenue, from the Coal Market and from the area of Perštýn. Round the church there is running a street with a suitable name, Martin Street. 

The reference of the original Romanesque church was made as early as in 1187. Then Sobeslaus II donated the settlement of Újezd of St Martin and the little church to Vyšehrad chapterhouse. In the second half of the 14th century the sanctuary was modified in a gothic way and a hundred years later side chapels were added as well as the chapel of St Eligius with an oratory. In 1784 the St Martin in the Wall Church was abolished by decision of Emperor Joseph II and his decree dated on 2nd July. The church of St Trinity in Spálená Street was then determined as a new parish church for the local believers.

The church of St Martin in the Wall, which got its name as it had been standing closely by the Old-Town fortification wall, was re-built subsequently. There was a locksmith workshop, wool warehouse and later on the Švertáseks brothers established a delicatessen shop in the church’s ground floor. In another church part there was a hall, where feasts and balls were arranged. Cemetery by the church was abolished as well; relics of the buried were transported the Olšany cemeteries. The cemetery chapel was modified as a pub and after its demolition in 1881 there was built an apartment house with its front towards the National Avenue. In 1904 the church got into property of the Prague city and in next two years it underwent reconstruction under the command of arch. Kamil Hilbert until the present shape was reached. 

In the outer wall of the church of St Martina in the Wall there is a large memorial tablet of red marble with a bronze plaque by Josef Mařatka from 1909. It says that once there were buried members of the famous sculptors’ family, the Brokofs; father Jan and his sons Michal Jan Josef and Ferdinand Maxmilián.