Monday, 14 December 2015

St Catharine's Church - Prague

The final concert given by the Men of Note on their 2015 concert tour was at the Church of St Catharine of Alexandria (Kostel svaté Kateřiny Alexandrijské) which is located on the premises of the University General Teaching Hospital in Prague.


Saint Catharine of Alexandria is also known as Saint Catherine of the Wheel. Tradition says she was martyred at the age of 18 in the early 4th Century at the hands of the pagan emperor Maxentius. The emperor condemned her to death tied to a spiked wheel, but the wheel shattered at her touch, and eventually she was beheaded for her Christian beliefs. The firework Catherine Wheel was named after her.


Charles IV established this church in 1355 as part of the convent of the Order of the Shoed Augustinian Nuns in thanksgiving for a battle won on St. Catharine's Day. Although the church's current Baroque appearance dates back to it's rebuilding in 1737-1741, certain original Gothic elements can still be seen, such as the tall octagonal tower, often called  the "Prague Minaret".

The unique Baroque hall structure has a transverse nave, and a rich fresco ceiling.
Ornate statues of Bishops look down on the congregation.
The Men of Note concert tour included free concerts performed in Venice in Italy, Bled in Slovenia, Bad Tatzmannsdorf in Austria, and this last concert in Prague. I went to all the concerts. Even though the music content was often repeated at each concert, the different venues made each performance special and unique. The acoustics in this spectacular old church were marvellous. The men's voices melded together and reverberated throughout the building giving me chills, beautiful!
The gentleman standing in the centre of the front row (6th from left, 6th from right) is 94 years old and still singing! Bravo!


 The harmonica featured in the concerts, and also in singalongs on the tour bus!



More pictures to come.... eventually!

8 comments:

EG CameraGirl said...

Catherine was much too young to die! But now she is remembered and probably would not have been otherwise!

sousca said...

An interesting bit of history there. I had no idea the Catherine Wheel firework was named after a saint.
It always amazes me to see such fine art work on the fresco ceilings, considering how difficult it must have been to paint whilst lying on ones back on some sort of platform.
I wonder where your next excursion will take you!

Marie Smith said...

It sounds like a wonderful vacation, uplifting, meditative, inspiring. Lovely.

Elephant's Child said...

How interesting to learn about Catherine Wheels. And the saint.
Incredible architecture.

Ruby said...

The ceiling is gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing Shammi.

Lowell said...

A fascinating bit of history and a gorgeous church...I was going to say that the acoustics must be superb for so many concerts, but then you said it, so I'm happy to know that I was right (for the 1st time in my life!). :)

Maggie May said...

Love all that ceiling art work and all the history involved!
You have some really lovely photos.
Maggie x

The Blog Fodder said...

Prague is such a beautiful city