The architectural interpretation

General 1 ZH Old2The ground plan of the church has the form of a five-point star. This fact is alleged to have been based on a legend saying that a crown made of five stars appeared at the place where John of Nepomuk had drowned. The symbol can be found in other elements of the building as well. The church is accessible through five entrances and there are five chapels and five alters in the church. The Latin word TACUI – I was silent – has five letters. The word is the meaning of the legend according to which the saint paid with his life for the fact that he had not revealed the secret confession of Queen Sophia. We could continue to enumerate the facts and symbols used in the church and characterized by number five.
The dome of the church is dominated by a big red tongue, an attribute of St. John of Nepomuk, surrounded by a circle of flames through which rays are shining. However, this is the result of the change in the original project which intended to place a central ten-point star there. The designer then gave it up due to the fact that precious relics had been secured for the new church: a lingula of St. John of Nepomuk (a bone to which the tongue is attached); he used the fact to strengthen the importance of the sanctuary, especially the shrine. The tongue symbolizes a weapon of victory – the sword of John the martyr. That is why some windows have the shape of a tongue; these are windows in the lantern chapels above the entrance halls in particular. Other windows are shaped as bishop mitres, which refers to the designer, abbot Václav Vejmluva. The last shape used for the windows is a spherical equilateral triangle symbolizing the Holy Trinity.

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The Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená hora
CZ 591 02 Žďár nad Sázavou

info@zelena-hora.cz
www.zelena-hora.cz

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