Moskevská 967/34: Hussite Church, Vršovice

Hussite Church, Vrsovice

Since the early 1920s, pressure had grown for a Hussite church in the neighbourhood of Vršovice. The plan was finally realized in 1930 by the architect Karel Truksa, and the church constructed within a year by Václav Nekvasil using the novel building material of pre-stressed concrete. The ‘lighthouse’ tower, topped with a geometric Hussite chalice, was designed in co-operation with Pavel Janák.

The foundation stone was the gift of the community of Tábor, the central Bohemian city whose associations with radical Hussitism date back to the 15th century. It was brought from the gothic castle of Kozí Hrádek, where Jan Hus himself found refuge in 1414 before being burnt at the stake the following year in Konstanz.

Formerly on this plot of land there had stood a coaching inn, Na Kovárně (The Smithy), from which the earliest electric trams in Prague used to run at the turn of the twentieth century. Like its exact contemporary, Janák’s Hussite church in Vinohrady, part of the Vršovice building also functioned as a theatre. This one uniquely still serves both purposes.