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St Wenceslas Cathedral,Olomouc, Czech Republic

Information on the Cathedral of St Wenceslas in Olomouc

St Wenceslas’ Cathedral with its two-tower face is an integral part of the city skyline. The third, the southern tower standing 100.65 meters high, is the tallest church tower in Moravia (and the second highest in the country). The three-naved hall of the church comes from the original medieval layout.

The Appanage Prince Svatopluk commenced the construction of the Cathedral in 1104-1107. His son Wenceslas continued with the construction and handed over the unfinished building to Olomouc Bishop Jind?ich Zdík before his death. The unfinished building was consecrated in 1131. It was completed in 1141 and it became an episcopal Church. The original three-nave Romanesque basilica has undergone numerous modifications and reconstructions. The cathedral was completely rebuilt into a Gothic style after a fire in 1265.

Gothic pillars of the three-nave hall originate from the 13th century. A large presbytery with dimensions of 35 x 23 meters was created as part of an early Baroque building. It got – indeed, like the whole interior and exterior of the building – a Neo-Gothic appearance at the end of the19th century. Under the presbytery there is a crypt accessible by two side staircases. On the south side of the church there is an entrance to the Mannerist St Stanislaus’ Chapel. Tombstones from the 16th and 17th centuries are situated on each side of this entrance. A shrine with the relics of St. Jan Sarkander canonized by Pope John Paul II. in 1995, is placed at a Neo-Gothic altar beside one of the pillars. The cathedral’s organ is one of the finest Romantic period instruments in the Czech Republic.

Information courtesy of Olomouc Tourism