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Vinohrady - Prague 2 Category: Church towers

Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

GPS: 50°4'40.08"N, 14°27'1.0799999999999"E

The name „Hundred-Spired Prague” practically fastened to the name of an ancient city on the Vltava River. The church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at Jiřího z Poděbrad Square also contributed to this name.

The work of an excellent Slovene architect Josip Plečnik (1872-1957) was not only restricted to the design works on the Prague Castle and its gardens or to the works on the residence of the president T.G. Masaryk, Lány Castle. He also designed a monumental religious building of the parish church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. His design proposal was the winner amongst 31 other proposals, part of a tender organized in 1919. The town construction works were carried out in 1929-1932, but the original design project was revised due to financial reasons. The church’s facade is made of glazed bricks and artificial granite. The tower, which is 42m in height and has two suspended bells, is a dominating feature of this building. It has an oblong ground plan of 22m x 4.5m and takes up the whole width of the church facia. In its lower part the tower narrows slightly and then broadens out further up. The top of the tower is extended with a structure with gallery and gable (similar to an antique style feature). The tower is crowned with a copper dome (3m in height) with a 4m tall cross. The side of the tower features tall slim pylons. In its wider parts the tower has a large round window (6m in diameter), which was installed at the same time as the tower clocks. Apparently these clocks are the biggest of its kind across the entire middle Europe.

The aisle of the church has a measurement of 38m x 26m and a 13m high compartment ceiling. The interior of the church is created with fair-faced bricks of a high quality, which hid some valuable works of art. One of them is a sculpture of Jesus, which was made of basswood and is 3.15m in height, situated above the altar. It is a work of the sculptor, Damian Pešana.

The construction of this building was initiated on 19th August 1929 by P.Method Zaoral, Abbot of Strahov Monastery. The consecration of the sanctuary was carried out by Karel Kašpar, Archbishop Cardinal of Prague, on 8th May 1932.