HomePosts Tagged "baroque" (Page 3)

baroque Tag

Some skeletons and mummies are all dressed up with no place to go.

Most Catholic churches have a relic of one sort or another. Many are small bone chips in decorative gold and glass cases. Some are rather mundane personal possessions of a saint or some strands of hair. The Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul in Prague’s Vyšehrad fortress has the empty coffin of St Longinus, the man who held the spear at the crucifixion. The same church has a fragment of the shoulder of St. Valentine.

St. Vitus’ Cathedral in Prague Castle has an elaborate silver coffin of St. John Nepomuk, along with royal tombs as well.

But there are a few churches in Prague that have truly unsettling items. Four churches have glass cases with pretty complete dressed up skeletons or mummies. One more had a shrouded set of bones looking like a lazy ghost waiting for inspiration. Finally there is the mummified arm of a thief hanging as a warning to all who would try to rob the altar.

One statues is not what it seems, according to a popular legend.

Most old churches have some stone decorations on the roof, and the overwhelming majority are just fanciful sculptures of angels and saints. There is an exception near Národní třída, in a church that’s fairly hidden on a side street.

The Church of St. Martin in the Wall (kostel svatého Martina ve zdi), at Martinská 8 in Prague’s Old Town, has an odd sculpture of a stone boy using two fingers to pull his lips and make a taunting face. The church is otherwise fairly unadorned both inside and out, save for the boy and on another eave of the roof an owl.

st martins owl

A stone owl is also on the church roof.

The boy, however, according to a widespread legend, is not a sculpture. It is a real naughty boy who was turned to stone.