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Church of Virgin Mary, St. Jerome and St. Slavonic Patrons at Slovany

New town - Prague 2 Category: Church towers

GPS: 50°4'19.92"N, 14°25'3"E

A complex comprising of a four-winged monastery and church consecrated in honour of the Virgin Mary, St. Jerome, St. Cyril, St. Constantine, St. Vojtěch and Procopius was founded by the Czech King Charles IV. It is located on a low hill above a settlement called „Podskalí“ beside the old parish church of St. Cosmas & Damian. The foundation charter was issued on 22nd November 1347 in Nuremberg. The monastery was ceremoniously consecrated on Easter Monday, 29th March 1372. During this ceremony the gospel of the gathering of Christ and his disciples at Emmaus was red. Because of this reading the people of Prague referred to the property as the Monastery of Slavonic Benedictines at Emmaus. The name of the monastery has been preserved to the present day.

The monastery church stood without steeples for a long period of time but used small sanctum turrets that rose from the middle of the roof. In 1678 two towers were built onto the church facia. The steeples were given typical bulbous cupolas and their walls were adjusted using corner pilasters.

German Benedictine monks arrived in Slovany at the beginning of the 1880’s. The towers were stripped of all baroque features and elements and smoothly grouted and sharp taper squares were placed on top. Four independent turrets were set up in each of the base corners in a neo-gothic style.

The 14th February 1945 was the worst day in the monastery’s 6 year history. Prague suffered air-raids of the allied air forces. The church and monastery suffered some heavy damage. Both neo-gothic towers were destroyed.

In 1964 the renovation project was put up for tender and a competition was organised. The architect František M. Černý won the competition. A modern asymmetrical shell construction was built. It is 32m high and is supported by a mighty white concrete construction. Over 1.3 kg of 24-carat gold was used for the coating of the 4m tall spikes.