EN History of the Basilica

The Collegiate Church of St Peter and St Paul at Vyšehrad is a three-aisled basilica in neo-Gothic style, with several chapels located in the side aisles. The apse on the east side of the main nave houses a large choir and a sanctuary. A sacristy and a chapel of Our Lady of the Ramparts (Panna Maria Šancovská) are attached to it.

The Collegiate church was founded by Duke Vratislaus II in 1070 and enlarged in 1129. During the reconstruction after the fire in 1249, the Romanesque character of the building was probably largely lost and was replaced by a Gothic triple nave. In 1295 a narthex, the remains of which were demolished in 1888, was built in the Western part of the church. During the reign of Emperor Charles IV, the early Gothic church was altered again; the side chapels were built probably in 1369. In 1495, the church was re-consecrated after the renovations.

The Collegiate church was remodeled in Baroque style in 1708–1711 and later in 1723–1730. In early stage of these modifications the Baroque architect František Maxmilián Kaňka was involved. The chapel of Our Lady of the Ramparts (so called “Šancovská kaple”) was built around 1740.

From 1885 to 1903 the church was remodeled in neo-Gothic style according to the design by Joseph Mocker. As he died mid-way through rebuilding process, the work was completed by his partner, architect František Mikš. The exterior design of the current building – the characteristic façade and tower design – results from this reconstruction. This reconstruction gave the basilica its current external appearance.

The paintings in the choir, in the chapel of Our Lady of the Ramparts and in both side aisles are the work of Karl Jobst, a painter from Vienna. The remaining interior parts were decorated in Art Nouveau style by F. Urban and M. Urbanová-Zahradnická (1868–1945) inspired by the Czech painter Alfons Mucha (1860–1939) between 1902 and 1903 and in 1911 (the above part of the nave). In 1988–1994 the interior of the church underwent a reconstruction.

In 2003, the Collegiate church of St Peter and St Paul at Vyšehrad was honored by the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II with the title of minor basilica.




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