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Church of St. Salvador - Part of Clementinum, Karlova Street, Old Town

Church of St. Salvador

Part of Clementinum, Karlova Street, Old Town

Jesuit triple-naved Church of St. Saviour is one of the most precious early Baroque monuments in Prague. This former main Jesuit church in Bohemia forms the south-west corner of Clementinum; the façade is facing the west, directly the Old Town Bridge Tower. It was built in 1578-81 on the foundations of Gothic churches of St. Clement and St. Bartholomew, its current appearance is from a Baroque reconstruction in 1638-40, probably under the supervision of C. Lurago, later on the dome was built according to a plan by F. Caratti and decorated with stuccos by J. J. Bendl. Quite subtle towers, adapted in 1714 by F. M. Kaňka, were for the first time ever in Prague located on the east side of the church i.e. above the altar, as if to protect it; this is how all newly built Catholic churches became different from Protestant churches which kept the towers on the west side. Rich sculptural decorations of the façade by J. J. Bendl (Church fathers, Order saints, evangelists, Christ and Virgin Mary) form a thematic unity with the decorations of the Charles Bridge and the church of St. Nicholas in the Lesser Town, the second most important Jesuit tabernacle in Prague. Inside the church there is an early Baroque confession booth decorated with statues of Apostles by J. J. Bendl, at the main altar there is a painting by J. J. Häring. Inside the crypt below the church there are tombs of important representatives of the Jesuit Order, including the defender of Czech language B. Balbín and the infamous burner of Czech books A. Koňas (Koniáš) of Vydří.- The chancel of the church is connected to the Italian Chapel of the Assumption of Our Lady from 1590-1600.

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