St George Basilica

St George’s Basilica

St. George‘s Basilica and convent form the eastern side of St George’s Square. The church was founded by Prince Vratislav and is the second oldest church in the Prague Castle complex.

 

Construction

In 973 the first convent in Bohemia was founded for Benedictine nuns. Let’s have a look at the long and turbulent history of this beautiful monument. Prince Vratislav of the Přemyslid dynasty founded the Second Church in Prague Castle consecrated to St. George. The church has preserved almost entirely its original Romanesque appearance. Except the Gothic chapel of St. Ludmila and the Baroque chapel of St. John of Nepomuk. After the fire of 1142, at the time of the Abbess Berta, the church was reconstructed in the Romanesque style. After the mid-14th century the church and the convent were rebuilt in the high Gothic style by the architect Petr Parléř. The church facade acquired its distinct red colour during the course of the Baroque modifications between 1671 and 1691. The Baroque Chapel of St. John of Nepomuk was built-on to the southern wall of the basilica between 1718 and 1722 by architect František Maxmilián Kaňka.

 

History Of The St George Basilica

Members of royalty have been buried in the church. Their tombs were discovered during the archeological excavations in the area in front of the main altar. The convent underwent its last extensive reconstruction in the years 1657-1680. During the reign of Joseph II it was abolished and used as an artillery barracks and as a penitentiary for priests. Between 1962 and 1972 the convent, which stands on the steep northern slope of the Hradčany headland, was secured against landslides and converted into exhibition rooms for the collections of the 19th century Bohemian art of the National Gallery. If you happen to stay nearby for a few days, don’t miss one of the concerts held in the basilica. Its huge and rather empty interior guarantees excellent acoustics, the perfect venue for classical music concerts.

 

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