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Church of St. Michal in Opatovice

New town - Prague 1 Category: Church towers

GPS: 50°4'45.84"N, 14°25'4.0799999999999"E

 

The Church of St. Michal in Opatovice with its significant tower is located between the streets of Opatovická and V Jirářích in Prague’s New Town. Experts of old Prague surely know, that the street’s name suggests the past existence of the Opatovice settlement in this area. The roman church of ST. Michal used to stand beside this settlement since the beginning of the 12th century. Later it functioned as the local parish church. After the foundation of Prague’s New Town, the settlement of Opatovice and its church were integrated into the New Town.

Some before 1369 the Roman church was demolished and a new sacred gothic building was constructed. This triple-aisle building underwent reconstruction in 1511, when the tracery vault was created. Further reconstruction was carried out in 1717-1722, after which the church and its steeple essentially gained its present appearance. A new oval chapel was built in the mid 18th century. Additional minor adjustments were carried out at the beginning of 20th century. General repairs of the entire church were done between 1973 and 1983.

It is worth mentioning that the legendary philosopher, protestant theologist, musicologist, and above all humanist and doctor, professor Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) played organ at the local German Evangelistic church of St. Michal during his Prague visit on 14th January 1923. The concert was repeated during his second Prague visit at the end of 1928. In his honour a memorial plaque was revealed on the outside wall of the church in 1993.

As already mentioned the steeple gained its baroque facia in 1722. It has small semicircular windows. The roof features a classical bulbous octahedral cupola covered with copper sheet with lantern and a finial at the top. The steeple’s height is 32m so it is visible from many Prague view points. Only the upper part of the steeple is visible due to high housing in the surrounding area. The church of St. Michal in Opatovice is used by the Slovak evangelistic community in Prague.