We spent about half a day in this lovely area. There are small and large wooded and grassy gardens for relaxing. We also enjoyed the superb scenic vistas and the cemetery where the classical composers Antonin Dvorak, Bedrich Smetana, and Joseph Suk are buried. We found so many kinds of statues (from small busts to monoliths) and odd-shaped decorative headstones (from stone toadstools to towering marble slabs).
At St. Peter and St. Paul’s sanctuary, there is none of the baroque bravado and arrogance of Prague's St. Vitus. Nor is there the grandiosity of the superabundant treasury at St. Loreto. The few treasures at St. Peter and St. Paul’s while not ostentatious are elegant.
In fact, everything at this church in Vysehrad is tastefully done: the pastel Art Noveau paintings of saints on all of the pillars, muted frescoes of New Testament scenes on the upper levels of the nave, the intricately folded cloth wrapped around the thighs of Jesus and the undulating folds of Mary’s robe as she encompasses Jesus on her lap in the marble Pieta, and in another Pieta, this one wooden, the unusual portraying of Mary covering her face with both of her hands in quiet anguish. Even the obligatory baby angels are unobtrusive and miraculously attractive. The silver-plated altarpiece primarily devoted to St. Peter and St Paul, with the Crucifixion placed above high above them, while relatively ornate, is not gaudy.
Perhaps it was the time of day and the intermittent cloud cover, but there was a breathtaking contrast between the ten intensely colored stain-glass windows and the subdued colors of everything else in the sanctuary. Each one of the thirteen-paneled spotlighted windows (three of them behind the altarpiece) gleamingly displays a different Gospel scene that is so realistically drawn that you think that you are a part of the drama. Right above every one of these depictions is a sharply detailed picture of the church’s spire. The top and bottom sections of each window consist of various arabesques that look like the coruscating fragments of a kaleidoscope. What a sight!
What a marvelous way to spend a day away from the crowds in such a quiet and beautiful place. For us, it was a must do.
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