St Gall´s Church

Tourists passing along the busy route from Wencelas Square to Old Town Square pass through Havelská and often overlook the imposing Church of St, which stands tall over the street.

In Czech the church is dedicated to svatý Havel or Saint Gall, but there is no connection with the famous Czech dissident who became the last President of Czechoslovakia/first President of the Czech Republic. In fact, Saint Gall was an Irish monk, and the church was founded in the 13th century and built to serve the German community who had been invited to the city.

St Gall’s was one of the Old Town’s four parish churches and after reconstruction in the 14th century became a centre of the Reformation movement. Reformer Jan Hus also preached there. Later on the Protestants were expelled, and the church was later acquired by the Carmelites, who remodelled it in the Baroque style. The designer was the famous Baroque architect Santini.

A number of Gothic features survive, and the church contains the tomb of the famous artist Karel Škréta. Unfortunately the interior can only be seen through an iron grille; the church is not open to the public.

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