Church of St Nicholas in Vršovice

The Church of St. Nicholas is one of the oldest buildings in Vršovice. Out of the threechurches dedicated to St. Nicholas, this one in Vršovice is probably the least known aswell as the least extravagant. If it has any extraordinary claim to fame, it is through adubiously honorable mention in Jaroslav Hašek's The Good Soldier Švejk .

The church stands on the site of what was originally a Romanesque chapel from the 11th century dedicated to Mary Magdalene, and a later gothic structure that was dedicated to St. Nicholas in 1422.The present church dates from 1704. Between 1894-1896 the church was enlarged to accommodatea growing congregation and it was given a new façade designed by Bohumil Holeček in the neo-baroque style. Also installed at this time were new confessionals as well as an organ.

The baroque tower rises from the north-east corner of the presbytery to almost 28 metres and iscrowned with a bulbous octahedral cupola with a lantern and finial. The original circular staircase hasbeen replaced by a narrower one. Although one of the historic and legendary bells was confiscatedduring the Second World War, the other dates back to 1511 and was cast by the prominent founder Bartoloměj of Prague, who was responsible for many bells in the Czech Republic.

Against the north wall is a statue of the revered Czech saint, St. John of Pomuk, who was martyred by Vaclav IV for not divulging the content of the queen’s confession. The town of Vršovice, according tothe inscription, is dedicated to him.