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Church of St. Margaret in Břevnov

Brevnov - Prague 6 Category: Church towers

GPS: 50°5'3.84"N, 14°21'24.12"E

 

It has been over a thousand years since the bishop Vojtěch of the Slavníkovci royal line and the prince Boleslav II of the Přemyslovci line founded the first male monastery in Bohemia. Originally the monastery of the Benedict Order in Břevnov had been reconstructed many times across the centuries. Its oldest preserved remains come from the beginning of the 11th century. They were discovered at the end of the previous century under the choir in the form of a crypt in a pre-Roman style.

The current extensive complex of the monastery is missing some of the farm buildings and lands, which had to be ceded to the surrounding housing and the busy road. The most precious building of the complex is the church of St. Margaret, which ranks amongst the most valuable buildings of the peak Baroque period in the Czech Republic. The church was built in 1708-1715 probably by the design of Kryštof Deintzenhofer. The specialized literature mentions a possible participation of other architects. The project plan of the presbytery and the belfry is attributed to Kilián Ignác Deintzenhofer. The oblong hall building is divided into three parts. It features shallow niches for the lateral altars and a long monastic choir. Behind the church and in east direction stands the convent building with three courtyards in the middle. Within the monastery also fall several other buildings and the extensive garden, which preserves the basic baroque plan. The garden features a villa so called Vojtěška on its west end.

The tower, which is situated at the rear part of the church, has several floors and an octahedral onion shape dome with the lantern and the finial on its top. The previous tower once used to house the oldest bell in Prague from 1313. For reasons which are unknown today, the bell was moved to the belfry of the Prague City Hall. Here the bell was destroyed during an extensive fire in May 1945.