Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and St Charles the Great in Prague
A beautiful Gothic church built in 1350-77 by Emperor Charles IV and dedicated to his famed predecessor, Charlemagne (or Charles the Great). It was later rebuild and extended in Baroque style and it is still one of the most beautiful churches in Prague (although a little outlying and forgotten by tourists). It is interesting and unique in many ways:
- As far as I know, it may be the only church in the world dedicated to Saint Charlemagne. The Catholic Church officially do not recognize him as a Saint, only as a Blessed, but for historical reasons his veneration as a Saint is allowed here in Prague and in Aachen in Germany.
- The church has an octagonal nave – such central floor plan is very uncommon and seldom used in Gothic architecture. (It echoes the design of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen, built some 550 years earlier by Charlemagne himself.) The nave also an impressive and beautiful Late Gothic vault.
- It was built on the highest point of the New Town of Prague – the new district of Prague, just founded by Emperor Charles IV. Together with four other churches founded by Charles IV in the New Town, it forms a regular cross on the map.
- There is a famous Baroque altar picture of Our Lady of Karlov, showing Virgin Mary pregnant – which is quite rare, too. But this depiction soon became very popular, as a patron saint of pregnant women, and there are many copies and statues based on this picture throughout Czechia.
I painted this picture for the cover of another booklet about this church, another one in the series published by the municipal government.