Church of St. Bartolomeus in Kolín

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The building of the church started not long after Otokar II. of Bohemia promoted Kolín to the royal town (Colonia Nova) after 1253.

The building of the early gothic choir loft (didn´t survive) with crypt of The Holy Ghost was first step and the erecting of perimeter walls of hall´s three-body.

The emperor Charles IV. called for court architect Peter Parler to take care of renewal of the damaged church after town fire in 1349.

Peter Parler started to work on building of the cathedral choir in 1360. The church of saint Cross in Schwabish Gmünd, which was built by his father Henry Parler, was the example for him.

The choir chapels were finished in 1400, the windows of the three-body and nothern tower were widened. There was built the chapel of Virgin Mary (it´s called Kokovsky´s chapel today) in southern side tower.

The rich townmen took care of the expensive artistic and precious equipment.

There is mentioned the burning to death of dean Hynek of Hronov (together with local Dominicans) in connection with faith riots in 15th century. There followed involuntary approach of Kolins to Four Prague Articles.

The church comes to be the Utraquist sanctuary after the Utraquist. There develops the roofing of Kolín towers into pyramids with corner towers at the end of 15th century.

The church was enriched with prism bell tower in 1504. The bells were brought here from the damaged nothern tower. There was a wide range of Utraquist priests working in the church of Saint Bartholomeus in 16th century. Everything changed when local dean Jan Teofil Turriades established Lutheran liturgy in 1604.

Jiri Chiliades (the last protestant dean) is banished from Kolín after Battle of White Mountain and following start of the counter-reformation. The couter reformation celebrates its success in time when Cistercian Martin Ignac Vodny is appointed to Kolin parish office (Jan Glodomastes was former priest) from Sedlec monastery. The disgrace ot The Thirty Years´ War is starting to be obvious. The year 1643 is the most obvious, when the church is looted and damaged by Swedish army.

The reconstruction of the church started after the end of the war, which was slowed-down by lack of the finances. The situation is getting better and the interior is step-by-step enriched by expensive baroque furniture. There is the charnel-house coming up in the neighbourhood of the church on the expenses of dean Antonin Formandl.

The wave of disgraces and disasters came in the end of 18th century. The first of them came in the form of the reforms of Joseph II in 1785, whose consequence was the Saint Bartolomeus literat brotherhood cancelling and reducing the circumference of the Kolin parish in 1788 radically. The last disaster was the fire in 1796. The roof frames burnt down above whole church and the inside equipment was damaged seriously.

The reconstruction of the church started thanks to the initiative of dean Jan Svoboda in the half of 19th century. It was reconstructed provisionaly until now. New roof frames were constructed at the frontal towers in 1847.

There came another fire in 1869. The architect Josef Mocker took charge of rebuilding the bell-tower and the nothern tower in the spirit of the history. Mocker has become an author of whole reconstruction of the church. „The association for completion of the dean´s church in Kolin“ established in 1878 started it.

Josef Mocker

The changes touched mainly Parler´s supreme gothic choir. There were replaced or added the architectonic details directly. The present romantic-neogothic roofing of the building formed, too.

The church was damaged slightly during the bombing of Kolin by the Allies in March 1945. The most needed repairs were done immediately after the end of the war. The capital repair started in 1963. The restoring work continues to present days.

The church of Saint Bartholomeus received the status of cultural monument in 1995.

poděkování, grafika Petr ADÁMEK, web Tomáš ADÁMEK, 2007–2019

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