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Vysehrad - Prague 2 Category: Church towers

Church of St. Peter and Paul at Vyšehrad

GPS: 50°3'51.12"N, 14°25'1.9200000000001"E

The long history of the Church of St. Peter and Paul at Vyšehrad starts after the year 1070, when king Vratislav I founded the chapter house here. The construction of the capitular church also started at that time. It was a three-aisle basilica with arcade forecourt and with a crypt. Since the 11th century it was used as a burial place for monarchs of the Přemysl line. The church suffered fire damage in 1249 but was consequently repaired.

The church was almost completely demolished probably in 1370 and replaced by a three-aisle basilica with a number of rectangular chapels along the sides of the lateral aisles. The basilica was repaired in 1495 and during the next renovation in 1565 newly vaulted. The capitular church was extended with a new presbytery at the end of 16th century and with a new vestry at the beginning of 17th century. The extensive reconstruction of this building was carried out in 1723 – 1729 probably using the construction plans of the builder František Maxmilián Kaňka. The church did not have any towers only a small Sanctus spire with bell on the roof. In the cemetery there was a detached belfry covered with onion shape dome with lantern and cross on the top.

At the end of 19th century a decision was made that the church would undergo a radical neo-gothic style reconstruction. This was carried out in 1885- 1887 through the designs of Arch. Josef Mocker. Later within the framework of this reconstruction a new facia was built together with two 58 m high towers.

The steeples are divided by cornices into five storeys. The lower floors have smaller cuspidate windows; the two highest floors have pairs of large cuspidate moulded windows. Wooden roof frames are substituted by castellated ribbed tents made of stone, which have an octahedral shape. The outside corners of the building are completed with pylons with stone roses in their top parts. Penthouses built up along the north and south sides of the steeples reach up to third floor of the building. The inside stairs leads up to the choir and higher up to the steeples.