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Hradcany - Prague 1 Category: Church towers

Church of St. Benedict at Hradčany

GPS: 50°5'20.04"N, 14°23'44.88"E

This lesser-known church, which was consecrated to St. Benedict, is situated in the south-west corner of Hradčanské Square by the upper part of the Town Hall Steps (Radnické schody). The church attracts public attention through its tower, which is not very tall but it is perceived as a significant view point thanks to the location of this religious building.

The church is an integral part of the Monastery of the White Friar nuns. This female order came to Prague in 1655 and settled in the church of St. Joseph in Lesser Town. The monastery was closed down by Emperor Joseph II in 1782 and the nuns moved to the monastery in Pohled beside the town of Německý Brod (today’s Havlíčkův Brod). But they came back to Prague after ten years. The emperor Leopold II, who came to the throne after Joseph II (Only for short period of time as Leopold II died on 1st March 1792), gave the monastery at Hradčanské Square to the White Friar Order. The monastery used to be the residence of the male order of Barnabites in the past. This is why the nuns had been called the Barnabite nuns for quite some time.

The Order of the White Friar nuns stayed in the monastery until 1950, when they were dispossessed by the previous regime. The governing Communist party then used the monastery as a hotel facility for their prominent guests. It was only after the political scene had changed when the nuns returned again (1992).

The church of St. Benedict, with its altar situated on the east side, is surrounded by two-storied convent buildings. The oblong aisle is narrower then the presbytery, which has a pentagonal closure. The simple fittings of the church are mostly from the first half of the 18th century. The church is open to the public at times of service.

The octahedral steeple rises from the top of the roof. It is covered by an octahedral helm roof with spire and finial on the very top.