If you arrive to Prague Old Town Square through Kaprova Street or Parizska Street, you will go past a large Baroque church at the corner of the square. It is the St. Nicholas Church, built by one of the masters of Baroque architecture – K. I. Dienzenhofer. Especially the interior of the church is impressive.
A Romanesque church used to stand there in the middle ages. It is mentioned in a document from 1273 for the first time. The church became Gothic in the 14 th century and a school and a cemetery were built nearby.
Church of Protestant preachers
St. Nicholas Church used to be a Protestant shrine. Some important reformers, such as Jan Milic of Kromeriz, used to preach there. The preachers of the church supported Jan Hus, the reformer, who was later burnt as a heretic in 1415.
St. Nicholas Church belonged to Lutherans in the 16 th century, but then the Protestantism was suppressed in Czech lands. The church became a Catholic sanctuary in 1620. Black Monks resided there.
The building was badly damaged by fire in 1689. The famous architect K. I. Dienzenhofer was entrusted to rebuild it and he suggested to demolish the remains and build a brand new Baroque church.
Great example of Baroque architecture
The new monumental St. Nicholas Church was built between 1732 – 1737. It has an imposing frontage with a main portal and two towers. The frontage is covered with sculptures by Antonin Braun. The main copula is situated between the towers.
Stuccoes inside the church were made by Bernard Spinetti, frescoes were painted by Bavarian artist Damian Asam. The fresco at the dome depicts scenes from life of St. Nicholas and Benedict. The whole interior is picturesque and there are lighting effects there.
St. Nicholas Church had a sad destiny since the 18 th century. The Black Monks´ Monastery and the church were abolished and sold off, then the building became a storage for corn and furniture. It became a church of Prague garrison in the World War I.
Concerts of church music
At the present time, St. Nicholas Church belongs to the Czechoslovakian Hussite Church. This church was declared there in 1920.
You can visit St. Nicholas Church in Prague Old Town for free, or attend a concert there.