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Church of St. Thomas

Lesser town - Prague 1 Category: Church towers

GPS: 50°5'18.96"N, 14°24'20.16"E

Lesser Town church of St. Thomas in Letenska Street was built in the gothic style on the foundation of an older, probably Romanesque church. Its presbytery was consecrated in 1315 and then the entire church in 1379. When the Hussite riots destroyed the church, it was rebuilt in 1584-1592 by Augustinian solitaires with the participation of Bernard di Alberto. This reconstruction in renaissance style was due to its seriousness and was completed at the beginning of the 17th century. The recent baroque style of this church originated with another reconstruction in 1727-1731, and was designed by Kilián Ignác Dientzenhofer. The church is an integral part of the Augustinian convent (house number 28).

The tall slim octagonal pyramidal roof of the church steeple is one of the typical silhouettes of Lesser Town. It is hard to overlook this steeple from many different directions not only for its certain atypical look but also for its height, which is 62 m. In the past the gothic steeple had features of a later baroque reconstruction such as ellipse-shaped and circular windows or corner pilasters.

To visit the steeple is complicated. The spiral stairs of 32 steps leads from the vestry hall followed by wide straight stairs of 15 steps, which will get us to the north gallery. Then we need to walk up the narrow fights of wooden stairs with banister in the pace of 15, 10, 14, 13, 20 and 10 steps. Technical equipment of the mobile operator is securely fixed onto the steeple windows and the window beside the steeple bells.

Today there are four bells suspended in the steeple. One of them is originally from 1652 and bears the name of St. Augustin. The next three bells are younger and come from the plant of Petr Rudolf Manoušek, master bell-founder. There are no other stairs up from the belfry. We can only admire the complicated roof structure made of heavy balks. If we open the window shutters we can also enjoy a wonderful view of the Lesser Town roofs and observe the human swarm below.