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New town - Prague 1 Category: Church towers

Church of St. Stephen

GPS: 50°4'33.96"N, 14°25'27.84"E

Right from its foundation Prague’s New Town, founded by Charles IV, had, in view of its size, two parish churches. The upper part of town had the church of St. Stephen located at today’s Štěpánská Street. The church was founded and administered by Crusaders from the Old Town.

This gothic triple-aisled building was built between 1351 and 1401. The chapel named Koronelská was built on the south side in 1686 and the chapel named Brangeberg was built on the north side of the building. Another significant intervention in the building construction was the addition of a neo-gothic hall on the north side in 1866. This relatively large neo-gothic renovation was carried out between 1876 and 1879 and was led by architect Josef Mocker.

Steeple on the west side, which is 57m high, is a distinctive point on Prague’s skyline. The earliest reference to this steeple dates from 1401. It is divided by four band cornices and lies on a cubic pedestal with a single profiled cornice. The circular stairs with little rectangular windows were bound onto the tower‘s south side. The top of the tower has a neo-gothic helmet. This together with a high pyramidal roof and corner turrets was designed by architect Josef Mocker in 1875 during the previously mentioned neo-gothic renovation of the church. The new clock faces of the tower clock were made during the same time period.

The belfry belongs to the church of St. Stephen. It is a detached double-floor building on the south side of church. The belfry was built in 1600-1604 on the site of an original wooden belfry. In the past there was a cemetery situated in the surrounding area. Originally the belfry had a high pyramidal roof, which was installed around 1731 but replaced by a baroque cupola. Today’s roof is shaped like a taper square with cut edges and with a finial on the top. The original bells were confiscated during the 1st and the 2nd World Wars. Recently the belfry has only one bell – affectionately called Stephen – which was created by master Jiří in Prague‘s New Town. The estimated weight of this bell is 2010 kg.