Saints Cyril and Methodius Cathedral
|Saints Cyril and Methodius Cathedral|
Chrám svatého Cyrila a Metoděje
|Affiliation||Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church|
|Leadership||Christopher of Prague|
|Patron||Saints Cyril and Methodius|
|Architect(s)||Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer|
According to oral tradition, the site where Saints Cyril and Methodius Cathedral stands was the site of a small church built by Bořivoj I, Duke of Bohemia, and dedicated by Saint Methodius himself. This link is based historically upon early and continuing reference to the name "Na Zderaze" for the existing church building. In 1091, the Czech lord Zderad was killed during the siege of Brno, and was buried in the earlier church which was near Prague. Zderad's name was then immortalized in the name of the street "Na Zderaze" which is adjacent to the cathedral, thus establishing a connection to this site that was hallowed by St. Methodius.
From 1115, the church of Saints Peter and Paul stood on the site of the present church, around which the Knights of the Cross built the Zderazsky monastery. During the Hussite Wars, the church was largely destroyed, leaving only a part of the choir standing. In 1705, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Prague, Breuner, established a retirement home for priests on the site of the monastery next to which a church was later built.
World War IIEdit
In 1942, during World War II, the cathedral was the scene of the last stand of a number of Czech and Slovak patriots who, in Operation Anthropoid, had assassinated Reinhard Heydrich, SS-Obergruppenführer and chief of police. Karl Fischer von Treuenfeld was in command of the German troops that stormed the church on 18 June 1942. After a fierce gun battle, two of the Czechoslovaks were killed and the rest committed suicide to avoid capture.
There is a museum in the church crypt dedicated to them as national heroes.
- Evans 2008, p. 277.
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