|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, the sound of the organ - demonstrate the rich tableau of the Baroque period in Prague.
The interior of the church is made of Slivenec marble. 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). The famous composers to played this magnificent instrument include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonín Dvořák and Josef Seger.
Today, the organ is played during Mass and classical music concerts.
Concerts mostly feature Baroque music, with violins, a trumpet and a soprano. Among many wonderful period pieces played, any rendition of Ave Marie is simply beautiful.
In winter, the seats at St. Francis of Assisi Church are heated and have cushions, but it is still advisable to wear warm clothing for concerts.
For concert listings and to book tickets: Prague concerts.