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Church of St. Nicholas in Vršovice

Vrsovice - Prague 10 Category: Church towers

GPS: 50°4'9.12"N, 14°27'6.1199999999999"E

 

Prague has in total three churches consecrated to St. Nicholas. The two imposing Baroque sanctuaries, in Lesser Town and Old Town, were generally well known. The church in Vrsovice was probably the lesser-known. A modest single-aisled building was founded in 1704 and is located in the south-west corner of Vršovické Square on the site of a former religious building, probably of Roman origin. The church aisle was extended in 1894-1896 so it could have room for more parishioners. The builder, Bohumil Holeček, therefore built a new neo-baroque west forefront. The historical building of vicarage is located in close peoximity and together with the church forms an integral urban unit. In the past there used to be a cemetery surrounding the church, which was abolished in the second half of 19th century.

The prismatic tower at the north-east side of the church rises from the presbytery and is almost 28m high. The original circular stairway was taken away due to its bad construction condition and replaced with a narrower stairway. The storey tower has a peak-baroque character, four large windows and its roof is crowned with a massive octahedral bulbous dome with lantern and finial.

The tower bells were, as many others, confiscated during the world wars. The story goes that one of the bells was once stolen and later found broken in a field. It was restored at the expense of the Town Council in 1671.

Today the tower houses a bell created by Bartoloměj from New Town in 1511. The bell weighs 300 kg. The tower also houses a smaller bell (death knell) of 35 kg, which was created by Oktáv Winter from Broumov in 1923. This bell is located under the dome together with a large and small cimbalom.The tower clocks made by Jan Prokeš from Sobotka were installed in the tower in 1866. The Town Council paid 600 gold coins for it. One cloak face installed on the west side of the tower is very special. It features a moon, in its lower part, which is waxing and waning according to the real movements of the Moon in the sky.