Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Loreto (Loreta), Hradcany, Prague

The original place of pilgrimage is at Loreto in Italy, where the Santa Casa (Holy House) is said to have been transported from Nazareth by angels. There and in Warsaw (where a third Loreto church was built) the Santa Casa is placed inside the church, but here in Prague it is placed in the centre of a cloister with the church to its east and a fine facade with gatehouse tower to the west. It was built in 1626, the church and the two chapels in the corner of the east cloister walk were first built shortly afterwards, and the west walk with its tall tower (housing a famous carillon, banging out Ave Maria on the hour) and another two corner chapels were completed in 1722. Attention then returned to an enlargement rebuilding of the church of the Nativity which was finished in 1735-8. The external walls of the Santa Casa were covered by rich panels in the 1660s and 1670s and contrast greatly with the interior, humble with rubble walls and remains of wall paintings (these a deliberate fake?). That however does not apply to the interior of the church, not large as Prague churches go but richly decorated. I particularly enjoyed the sea of cherubs looking out from the canopy of the pulpit and the cherubs flying around the organ playing a variety of musical instruments. It is also the rather dark interior of this church which has proved that my choice of new camera meets my needs as hopefully these pictures without flash and without tripod prove (it has image stabilisation built in which appears to have rescued many a shot in Prague churches). More info on Loreta here http://www.prague-wiki.com/wiki/Loreta

1 comment:

  1. One thing I found the most fascinating about Prague is the spectacular chateaus and halls in the city. I spent much of my time on Prague city breaks last summer and the attractions in and around the city truly are a sight to behold.