|St. Francis of Assisi Church (Kostel sv. Frantiska z Assisi) in Prague is located in the Old Town, next to Charles Bridge.|
Viewed from the river, the church's magnificent dome is a dominant feature of the city skyline.
St. Francis Church has been associated with the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star since 1252, and it remains the seat of the Order today.
The present day church was built in the Baroque style in 1679-1688 to the designs of the architect Jean Baptiste Mathey.
It replaced an earlier Gothic church, built in the 1250s-70s, a sizeable part of which remains beneath the current structure; because the ground level around St. Francis rose some 5 metres between the 13th and 17th centuries, the present day church was merely built on top of the original.
All facets of St. Francis of Assisi Church, its decoration, furniture, even the sound of its organ, provide a rich tableau of the Baroque period in Prague.
The church's interior is made of Slivenec marble, and its walls and ceilings are decorated with frescos by V.V. Reiner.
The painting on the main altar is by J.K. Liška. It depicts the stigmatization of St. Francis and is considered to be the artist's most valuable work.
The church organ was made in 1702 and is the second oldest in Prague (the oldest organ is at Tyn Church). Several famous composers have played this magnificent instrument, notably Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonín Dvořák and Josef Seger.
Today, the organ is played during Mass and classical music concerts, which are held at St. Francis all year round. The concerts focus on Baroque music, and feature the violin, trumpet and a soprano performing Ave Marie and other pieces from the period.
In winter the seats are heated and have cushions, but it is still advisable to wear warm clothing for concerts.
For listings and to book tickets for concerts at St. Francis of Assisi: Prague concerts.