Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad: Church of the Sacred Heart

Jiriho z Podebrad, Prague

The Church of the Sacred Heart was designed in 1928 by Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik and built between 1929 and 1932. His art deco plan integrates design elements of classical architecture such as pediments, friezes and obelisks, with industrial materials: huge bronze doors, blue glazed bricks and the enormous functional clock, the largest of its kind in Central Europe. At 42 metres high, and (unusually) stretching the entire width of the nave, the tower gives the church the appearance more of a grand railway station than a place of worship.

Church of the Sacred Heart, Prague, detail of clock

Inside, the effect is similarly shocking: bare brick walls, pierced at regular intervals with gold Greek crosses, and spherical copper lamps suspended from the unsupported ceiling. You might be inside a conference hall, were it not for Damian Pešana’s ten-foot gilded statue of Christ above the altar.