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Townsville, Queensland, Australia
July 14, 2006
From journal Enjoying Prague Castle and Environs
July 12, 2005
This church is one of the best examples of high baroque north of the Alps. However, K. I. Dienzenhofer's 1711 design didn't have the massive dome that now dominates the Lesser Town skyline below Prague Castle.
Dienzenhofer's son, Krystof, added the 78m (260-ft.) high dome during additional work completed in 1752.
The interior of the Church is dramatic. The primary nave with its side chapels connects onto the presbytery with its giant dome carried by two robust arches. A platform is placed above the chapels and illusive frescos are painted onto its individual vaults. Large side windows bring light into the interior and help to create an overall impression.
Rare materials decorated with gilding and rich linings of artificial marble, which is also used in the original paving, which has been preserved in the entire Church, most probably date back to 1760. A giant statue of the church's namesake looks down from the high altar.
Mozart played the organ here during his stay in Prague. Also, in the movie Van Helsing, it is where dracula held the masquerade ball.
Classical music concerts are performed daily, and ticket prices are reasonable (concerts are usually held at 5pm).
From journal A city that never ceases to amaze
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
March 24, 2005
Amazingly enough, there are two churches of St Nicolas in Prague – one is located in Mala Strana and the other in the Old Town Square.
This church located in Mala Strana is a large, very lavishly decorated baroque church with an enormous metal entrance door (these doors are very typical of Czech churches, but I haven’t seen them anywhere else). This church is considered the most beautiful building of Czech baroque. It was built in early 1700s. A huge fresco on the ceiling shows gates of paradise and scenes from the life of St Nicolas. Each chapel is adorned with a dark marble altar with paintings and a ceiling fresco. Each altar in the chapel is devoted to the depiction of various saints. The high altar looks like a huge performance with saints and angels, decorated with gilding, polychrome, and marble. All the chapels and the décor of the church are Italian baroque a la Bernini, with lots of marble statues and gold. A large organ above the entrance seems to also be playing a part. It was once played by Mozart. The main color of the backgrounds of walls and frescoes is light green, and the walls are covered in trompl’oi of columns. Near the altar up the stairs is an exhibit of Karel Skreta’s paintings (major Czech baroque painter). There are 10 paintings from "Passion cycle". There is also Skreta’s painting, "Cavalry", in the chapel of Santa Barbara to the left of the entrance. The Skreta exhibit is on the second floor balcony, from which you can get a more up-close look at the organ and ceiling fresco.
From journal Travels in Czech Republic - Prague, Part III