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Church of the Most Sacred Heart

Praha
1 of 4Noj

Another important example of Plečnik’s work in Prague is the monumental church of the Sacred Heart in the district of Vinohrady (1928–1932). The church’s exterior is composed of three parts: the nave, the tower and a small rectory. Vertically the complex is divided into a dark part covered with ceramic tiles, giving the façade plasticity, dynamism and rhythm with protruding concrete blocks, and a bright clerestory at the top, covered with a gentle gable roof. Critics labelled the façade an “ermine cloak”. The tower is of the same width as the nave, its massiveness alleviated with a huge round window doubling as a clock. Unlike the dramatic exterior, the interior is very peaceful, almost industrially stern, decorated only with pilasters. Its only accent is the altar composition featuring freely placed statues on the altar wall. A simple crypt is located under the high altar. Because of its simple arched ceiling with clerestory, the interior most resembles an aircraft hangar. Nevertheless, Plečnik created a sacred atmosphere with a simple decorative arch on the altar wall and the stone altar table. When Plečnik received the commission, he confided a thought to his brother, revealing his fundamental ethical approach to church construction: “Generally speaking, I am not interested in building a new church in Prague; I am interested in the pastoral…”

Text by Peter Krečič

Jiriho Z Podebrad 19