Rotunda of St. Mánes also protected the crosses from destruction, and is now undergoing restoration
The birch and other overgrown trees ingrained in the walls disappeared from the church mantle. Inside the nave, the builders erected a scaffolding adorned with the green letters IHS, a so-called christogram formed by the first three Greek letters of the name of Jesus Christ.
“In the case of the listed rotunda of the Holy Cross, we are particularly sensitive as a great respect. This inconspicuous gem needs proper care so that it can stand in the very center of the city for centuries to come, “said Jan Chabr, Prague’s councilor for property. The capital is the owner of the monuments, the spiritual operation in the Holy Cross Church is provided by the Old Catholic Church.
The work schedule includes a number of items, the restoration of the historic extremely valuable building should cost 5.6 million crowns. The workers will complete their work as expected at the end of May 2022.
The main part of the reconstruction is the replacement of the existing composition of the rag roof.
“At the same time, new window cladding, roof and bell tower finishes will be carried out, and after the damaged parts of the ceiling vaults have been removed, interior plasters will be repaired and supplemented, namely lime-based materials,” said Vít Hofman, a spokesman for the municipality.
The list of works also includes the restoration of the main stone cornices and the plastering of their surface, the addition of plumbing elements and the revision of the ventilation vents.
Rescuers Mikovec and Mánes
Rotunda Finding St. The cross is one of three buildings of its kind that survived the devastating wave of Josephine reforms in the 1880s, as well as the redevelopment a century later. Dozens of shrines, not just the rotunda, stopped serving their purpose in these turbulent times. Most of them were on the verge of extinction.
On the site of the church of St. Crosses, probably dating from the end of the 11th century, were to be built in 1860 according to the intention of the period developers. The church at that time served as a warehouse, and was consecrated in 1784.
Destruction prevent categorical resistance of conservationists. The Umělecká beseda, led by playwright and historian Ferdinand Břetislav Mikovec and painter Josef Mánes, resisted.
“Less well known is the fact that Josef Mánes also designed the interior and captured this idea in his watercolor, which depicts worship in a restored church,” said parish representatives. In the end, Mánes’ proposal was not implemented by the rescuers of the monument.
The rotunda escaped the fate that befell, for example, the nearby church of St. Jana Na Zábradlí.
“Today it is under the foundations of an apartment building. The story of its rediscovery was linked to archeology. In addition to supplementing our ideas about the advanced Romanesque form of this building, we managed to confirm that it had an older predecessor from the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries, “said Jaroslav Podliska, director of the Regional Institute of National Monuments in Prague.
About a century and a half ago, Prague’s intellectual elites helped save two other existing rotundas. St. Longin, also consecrated in Josephine times, was to give way a century later to the construction of the currently traced Na Rybníčku Street in New Town. The demolition was averted by the Society of the National Museum, headed by the father of Czech historiography, František Palacký.
The enlightened, high-ranking provincial official from the old Czech family, Count Karel Chotek, is credited with saving the Vyšehrad rotunda of St. Martina. In 1841, its demolition was considered during the construction of the road.
In addition to exceptional historical value, Prague’s round churches from the early Middle Ages also have a mystical significance. According to legend, the five Prague rotundas were built to form a cross with a shoulder length of about 2.4 kilometers. The center of the cross is the Church of the Finding of the Holy Cross. One of the peaks of the cross was the castle rotunda of St. Vitus, which is today in the foundations of the cathedral. The second was the church of St. Longina. The arms of the cross rested on the defunct Rotunda of St. Philip and St. James and the Old Town of St. Clement.
Spojnice rotunda sv. Longina and St. According to legend, Vít shows the morning azimuth of the summer and winter solstices in the 11th and 12th centuries. The original dedication of endpoints corresponded directly to this. St. Štěpán (now Longin) is celebrated on December 26, shortly after the winter solstice. St. Welcome to the summer solstice on June 15.