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Church of St. Jan Nepomucky at Skalka

New town - Prague 2 Category: Church towers

GPS: 50°4'28.92"N, 14°25'5.8800000000001"E

 

The Church of St. Jan Nepomucky at Skalka was originally founded as a chapel at the vineyard Skalka in 1691 by Old Town citizen Kristian Florian Heger. Services were carried out by monks from the opposite monastery at Slovany. Jan Nepomucky was at that time already honoured as a saint.

In 1706 the brother hood under the Virgin Mary patronage was established here in honour of Jan Nepomucky. Jan Nepomucky was officially canonized in 1729. The brother hood members decided to build a new spacious church because of the chapel’s small proportions. Kilián Ignác Dientzhofer was asked to prepare the project and a foundation stone was laid in 1730. A mature-baroque church was completed 8 years later.

This single-aisle church of St. Jan Nepomucky has an octagon floor plan. Two flights of open stairs run up to the front of the church, which is facing Vinohradská Street. The stairs were completed in 1776 and its banisters are adorned with sculptures of the saints. Two steeples, on both sides of the ffaciat, are 35m high and are standing sideways. This gives the whole building an extraordinary dynamic character. The steeples’ mass is divided into two floor levels and the façade is elaborately decorated. The bell floors in the steeples are fitted with spaced semicircular windows, which are finished with spherically triangular straight cornices. The steeples have tall domes, whose lower parts have two cornice curves one above the other. On the very top of each tower are relatively mighty prismatic lanterns with decorative vases and crosses. A baroque snail stairway is running through the entire south steeple. The north steeple has three rooms divided by wooden ceilings.