Friday, October 28, 2011
St Saviour (sv Salvator), Old Town, Prague
The second church by the Charles Bridge is dedicated to St Saviour (shown left with the church of St Francis), and is in the corner of a former Dominican complex which was taken over by the Jesuits and turned into a University Complex, the Clementinum. From the square you first have to cross a busy road running directly in front of the church facade. Given the number of tourists outside in the square, the church was surprisingly quiet and empty. There is a large metal screen which I suspect is often locked but for my visit these were open and a lady manned a souvenir and information desk but there was no charge to enter. The church may incorporate parts of the medieval Dominican church (St Bartholomew) and I suspect its plan which is entirely medieval, cruciform with aisles, transepts, central tower and long apsidal chancel. The reconstructed church was begun in 1579 and completed in 1602, but then received a baroque makeover 1649-54 when the upper floor to the aisles was built with the pretty balustrades and the central octagonal lantern was added. The final embellishments were the twin towers flanking the east end with their onion domes.