St. James Church and the Minorite Monastery – a place of many legends

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The church and the monastery belong to the oldest Gothic monuments of Prague. They hide in its walls the unique crypt and tomb stone of the lords of Mitrovice which are considered one of the most beautiful in Bohemia. The church stretches between the Old Town Square and the Republic Square in Prague.

All about The Church of St. James more read here

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History of the church
The building was originally built in 1232 by Wenceslas I. However, between 1319 – 1394 it was replaced by a large basilica where funeral ceremonies of significant monarchs were held. A good example is e.g. the body of Charles IV. which was displayed here for some time. Further the Emperor Maxmilian II. was buried here, too. The fire of 1689 led to the Baroque modification of the church. Another important turning-point was the year 1974 when the Pope Paul VI. loaned it the title of honor „Basilica minor“.

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The architecture The Church of St. Jacob (cze: kostel sv. Jakuba) - interior
The originally Gothic church is nowadays wearing the Baroque robes. The entrance facade is richly decorated mainly by stucco symbolizing the saints. The church is due to its two high towers visible from a long distance already. There is another curiosity waiting for us inside where twenty-one altars are to be found. After entering the church everyone will be taken away by the huge tomb stone of Jan Václav Vratislav of Mitrovice, the chief chancellor of the Bohemian Kingdom. It is a remarkable symbol of the Bohemian Baroque. To give you an idea, you will find his signature on the cloak of the God Cronus and also the date 1716. And above the sacrophagus the angels are engraving the name and titles of the dead into the obelisk.

The curiosities
There is another rarity about the church – it was devoted to St. James Major who does not belong among the saints of the Minorite Order and who was actually the patron of the mineworkers. We need to mention another interesting fact – a coronation feast of John of Luxembourg and Elisabeth Premyslid was held at the beginning of the 14th century here.

The legends The Church of St. Jacob (cze: kostel sv. Jakuba) - interior The Crypt containing the tombs of the Earls of Mitrovice
Vratislav Václav of Mitrovice had a strange dream one night. In his very realistic dream he came to life after his death and something very bad happened to him. He was so much frightened by the vision that he commanded his dependants to prick his heart after his death. However, they did not obey his request, perhaps in respect for the dead, and they did not prick his heart. But the dream came true and the dead really came to life in his tomb. He grabbed the cover of the cave and tried to loosen the tomb stone with it. After some time the monks removed the tomb stone and found something incredible. There was a body of Vratislav Václav of Mitrovice lying next to the cave in cramped position.

Another legend is related to the magical statue of the Virgin Mary placed on the main church altar. Once a thief let himself lock in the church and when he was trying to steal a string of ducats hanging on the statue, the statue reached out to him and grasped. The thief was found in the morning, suddenly the statue released her grasp, cheap viagra pills still according to the contemporary customs his hand was cut off anyway. The blackened hand is hanging in the church as a warning up to this day, just right above behind the main entrance.

The Church of St. Jacob (cze: kostel sv. Jakuba) - interior The blackened hand is hanging in the church However, the most interesting and best-known legend by far is the one from the book Mystery of the Puzzle by Jaroslav Foglar dealing about a mysterious boy Jan Tleskač who used to be the bell-man of this church and died here under mysterious circumstances. The Fast Arrows, a group of young boys, set out in traces of Jan Tleskač thank to his diary. The diary brings them to the church bell tower and the labyrinth of underground corridors where according to Foglar the monks from the 18th and 19th centuries are buried.

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The epilogue
As you can see, the church is really rich in legends and mysteries which makes the place slightly mystical and enigmatic. However, do not be scared. In the present gorgeous organ concerts take place here beside the services. The perfect and unforgetable experience is the work of two organ units.

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Photo Gallery:

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Contact:

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Address:
Malá Štupartská 635/6
Praha 1, Staré Město
110 00

Tel: 224 828 816 – 817
Fax: 224 828 817
E-mail: praha@minorite.cz, svatyjakub_sbor@centrum.cz, info@auditeorganum.cz
Web: http://www.minorite.cz, http://praha.minorite.cz/, http://www.sbor.cz, http://www.auditeorganum.cz

Opening hours: daily: 9.30 – 12.00 a 14.00 – 16.00

Admission: free

Barrier-Free Entry: no

GPS: N 50° 05′ 18.00″ E 14° 25′ 29.00″

Connection:
Subway(Underground)  line B – Náměstí Republiky
Tram – 5, 8, 24, 26, 51, 54, 56 – Náměstí republiky
Bus – 207, 505, 511 Náměstí Republiky
From here just follow the streets U Obecního domu, further Králodvorská, Rybná and finally walk along the Jakubská street where you will find the destination

Transport connection:
Search for connections: click here
Information on Prague transport: click here
Information on Prague public transport: click here

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Map:

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Kostel sv. Jakuba 50.088332, 14.424684 St. James Church and the Minorite Monastery ( Kostel sv. Jakuba ) The church and the monastery belong to the oldest Gothic monuments of Prague. They hide in its walls the unique crypt and tomb stone of the lords of Mitrovice which are considered one of the most beautiful in Bohemia. Address: Malá Štupartská 635/6 Praha 1, Staré Město http://www.praguecityline.com/monuments/church-of-st-jacob

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DOWNLOAD: Tourist Guide in the Area

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Průvodce Praha 1 - ENG - úvodní stránka

  Tourist guide PRAGUE CITY LINE - Prague 1 (unknown)

Prague 1 still belongs to one of the most attractive parts of the whole Prague. Probably nowhere else you can find such a concentration of historic monuments and places where the history and romance of bygone times are all around you. Hardly anywhere you can walk on the same paths where were walking Franz Kafka, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and the Golem of Prague.

 

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