ST. STEPHEN’S CHURCH
After the establishment of the New Town, when the first building lots for what is today Štěpánská Street were surveyed, the old church no longer sufficed for the increasing population and was replaced by a new one. The consecration to St. Stephen’s transferred from it to the new parish church, and the old rotunda was consecrated to St. Longinus.
St. Stephen’s Church was built between 1351 and 1360. Charles IV, an avid collector and admirer of relics, obtained the remains of St. Stephen in Rome and donated them to the church. On festive occasions, a stone with which St. Stephen was stoned to death used to be exhibited. A cemetery that was originally designed for pilgrims who died on their way to see the holy relics stretched from the church to the New Town walls, making it probably the largest in Prague at the time.
St. Stephen’s Church is built on a slight slope and is built in the shape of a three-nave basilica terminating with a polygonal presbytery. The massive prismatic tower stands at the axis of the main nave and is capped with a characteristic Gothic roof. The main alter is decorated with paintings by Matěj Zimprecht. One of them depicts St. Stephen falling under a rain of rocks. The belfry behind the church is from 1600. Naturally, there was a parish house adjoining the church, which has recently been nicely fixed up. Along the cemetery wall stood a school, the tradition of which is now proclaimed by the modern primary school, on a modest plaque.