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New town - Prague 2 Category: Church towers

Church of St. Ignazio

GPS: 50°4'31.08"N, 14°25'14.88"E

The church of St. Ignazio, which faces the Charles Square and the Jesuit campus, became a centre of the Jesus Fellowship Order in Prague’s New Town. The baroque church building with its walk through chapels and galleries was built in 1665-1678 by the architect Carl Lurag. The porticos in front of the church were designed by the architect Pavel Ignác Bayer and are from 1697-1699. Bayer also directed the tower building on the north-east side of this church in 1686-1687.

Above the roof ridge of the presbytery a classical Sanctus turret rises. Originally there were two smaller bells in the turret made in 1699 by Nicholas Lӧwa and consecrated by Bishop Jan Ignác Dlouhoveský. One of the bells was called Marie. The mighty square steeple-tower (49.5m high) has, in the upper part, four arched windows.

The outside corners are decorated with pilasters and a horizontal cornice parting. The roof is created using a bulbous octahedral cupola with lantern and a smaller dome crowned with a pike and finial. Judging by the asymmetrical positioning of the steeple, it is possible, that originally there was a plan to build two steeples, which was obviously not realized. To reach the stairs we must enter the house passage of No. 505 at Ječná Street. Firstly we need to climb three floors of the house stairs, which are followed by classic tower stairs.

Recently the steeple was for sometime without its bell. The bell called Ignac from 1687, weighing 2020 kg, was returned to its place on 28th September 1995 after a two year spell in the repair shop. The bell was being repaired (including the full restoration of its décor) in the Manousek family foundery.