Saturday, May 16, 2015

St Vitus’ Cathedral in Prague

For the feast of St John Nepomucene, which I wrote about last year, here are some photographs of the cathedral of St Vitus in Prague, in which he is buried.

The chapel of St Sigismund, one of the Patron Saints of the city of Prague, designed by František Kanka in 1720

An altarpiece depicting the Visitation at the very back of the church. Prague was one of the very first places to celebrate the feast of the Visitation, at the behest of Archbishop Jan Jenstein in the 1390s.  
In many medieval cathedrals, the noble families who had paid for the building of various parts of a church would have their donation commemorated by the addition of their crest to some part of it.
The tomb of St John in the right side of the ambulatory.
The balcony of the royal oratory, where the King of Bohemia would stay while attend services.
The high altar

The principal Patrons of Prague, depicted in mosaic in the outside of the church, over the main door on the south side of the cathedral. Prague used to keep a special votive office of its patron Saints, in which the following prayer was said: “Be merciful, we ask Thee, o Lord, to us Thy servants, through the glorious merits of Thy martyrs and our Patrons Vitus and Wenceslaus, Adalbert, Sigismund, Procopius, Benedict with his brothers, and Ludmilla; that by their holy intercession, we may always be protected from all adversities.”

A gargoyle made especially creepy by the weathering and blackening of the stone work.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: