Next Friday, Jun 10, the Night of Churches will be taking place. In Prague alone, more than 15o sacred places will be open to the public where visitors can take guided tours and attend concerts and lectures.
It is also a unique opportunity to see otherwise inaccessible places such as crypts or church towers. When the Church Night was established in 2009, only 25 churches throughout the Czech Republic took part in it. 14 years later, 154 of them will open in Prague alone, and 1678 throughout the entire Czech Republic.
There are two main topics of this year’s program: glass and a reminder of Jan Amos Comenius. “The UN has declared 2022, among other things, the Year of Glass, and the sacral architecture of our country provides many interesting artifacts made of glass. Whether in the form of stained glass or liturgical dishes. In the Archdiocese of Prague, we can find stained glass windows from the Gothic period to the most modern period. The second topic will be a reminder of Jan Amos Komenský, 430 years after his birth this year,” said Michal Němeček, director of the pastoral center of the Prague Archbishopric.
Like every year, this is the central point of the entire program to make available to the public otherwise closed places that normally serve as worship areas. At the same time, the individual organizers this year also offer a number of concerts of classical, organ, gospel and folk music with songs from Ukraine and Syria.
According to Němeček, many Ukrainians will also be involved. “Ukrainian songs will be heard in several places all over the country, a children’s choir will perform or there will be talk about Ukraine as a country and help for its hard-tested inhabitants,” said Němeček. “For example, in our church on Korunní we have prepared a program in which students from Kharkiv will present Ukrainian poetry,” added the parish priest Zdeněk Šorm.
The biggest attractions
The biggest news this year is that the Chapel of the Virgin Mary at Prague’s Old Town Hall will be offering individual tours with a text guide. Visitors will be able to see a projection of images and videos focusing on the description of the interior. A creative workshop will be prepared for children as well.
The Senate Chapel, where Wallenstein sat
This year, the Senate will take part in the Church Night for the first time. The press secretary of the Senate Chancellery, Lada Faldynová, informed ČTK that they will open the chapel of St. Wenceslas next Friday evening.
People will be able to see the chapel together with the historic premises of the palace from 18:00 to 22:00. Three oratories lead to the chapel with an entrance from the individual floors of the palace.
In the first oratory sat the duke and military leader of the Thirty Years’ War Albrecht of Wallenstein, in the second his wife and daughter, and in the third servants. The chapel was completed in 1623 when it was painted by the Florentine painted Baccio di Banco.
Unlike in previous years, the organizers will not publish printed brochures with the program. Instead, they bet on the mobile application which allows not only the ability two find a specific church, including the program, but also to choose your own route or download data to your phone. The Church Night application is now available to users of the Apple operating system.