Statues - Hither & Thither

Czech Republic
Praha
Hlavní mĕsto

Malostranské námĕstí

Morový Sloup Nejsvĕtĕjší Trojice

Plague Column of the Holiest Trinity

Jan Oldřich Mayer & Ferdinand Geiger
1712/15

Praha /  Morový Sloup Nejsvĕtĕjší Trojice   Praha /  Morový Sloup Nejsvĕtĕjší Trojice

Description

20 metre high triangular column is decorated by statues of the Holy Trinity (Holy Spirit as a dove, and the Father and Son sitting figures) and statues of the Virgin Mary and the Czech patron saints
(click on the photo for an enlargement in a separate window.)
Click for larger photo in separate window

Panny Marie
St. Mary

St. Wenceslas

Sv. Václav
St. Wenceslas

St. Ludmila

Sv. Ludmila
St. Ludmila

St. Procopius

Sv. Prokop
St. Procopius

St. John of Nepomuk

Sv. Jan Nepomucký
St. John of Nepomuk

St. Vojtech (St. Adalbert)

Sv. Vojtĕch
St. Adalbert

  1. Panny Marie - Saint Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ (Wikipedia).
  2. Sv. Václav - (c. 907 - 935), duke of Bohemia, raised as Christian by his grandmother, Saint Ludmila. He was murdered in 935 on his way to church. Patron saint of the Czech people and the Czech Republic (Wikipedia).
  3. Sv. Ludmila - (c. 860 - 921), martyr, grandmother of Saint Wenceslaus. Saint Ludmila is venerated as a patroness of Bohemia (Wikipedia).
  4. Sv. Prokop(with the devil at his feet) - St Procopius of Sázava (died March 25, 1053), Czech saint, founding abbot of Sázava near Prague (Wikipedia).
  5. Sv. Jan Nepomucký - (Nepomuk c. 1345 - Praha 1393), confessor of the queen of Bohemia, refused to divulge the secrets of the confessional. At the behest of King Wenceslaus of Bohemia he was thrown from the Charles Bridge in Prague and drowned. John of Nepomuk is patron saint of bridges (Wikipedia)
  6. Sv. Vojtĕch- (c. 956 - 997), bishop of Prague and a missionary, was martyred in his efforts to convert the Baltic Prussians. Patron saint of Bohemia, Poland, Hungary and Prussia (Wikipedia).
The three fountains at the foot of the column symbolise the sources of life (fons vitŠ), charity (fons gratiae) and salvation (fons salutis). On the balustrade around the foot there are six angels and two vases.

Inscription(s)

sIt
gLorIa
DeopatrI, Deo fILIo,
Deo spIrItVI sanCto.
sub
gloriosiss. auspiciis
augustiss: & invictiss:
Romanorū jmperatoris
CAROLI VI.
Ger: His: Hun: & Boem:
regis potentissimi
auxili˘ piorum
ss. trIaDI MInor Vrbs Pra=
gene Vota ConseCrat
sIt
Deo genItorI,
genItoq;
sanCto proCeDentI
ab Vtroq;
trInIs par
aDoratIo
et
CreatorI
reDeMptorI,
spIratoq;
LargItorI
honor &
IVbILatIo
Glory be to God the Father, to God the Son, to God the Holy Ghost, under the auspices of the most glorious, most august, and unconquered emperor, Charles VI., the city of Little Prague dedicates its vows to the sacred Trinity

The first four and the last two lines are chronograms for 1713

Glory be to the Father
and to the Son and
to the Holy Ghost,
proceeding from both,
equal adoration to the three

Chronogram for 1713

To the Creator,
to the Redeemer,
and to the bountiful Spirit
be honour and rejoicing

Chronogram for 1713

Colossus
decedente pestiferalue
erectus
mitigata grassante fame
restauratus
Chronogram for 1772

InfInIta gLorIa atqVe IVbILatIo
tIbI patrI fILIoqVe pneVMatIoqVe
sanCto eX hoC nVnC atqVe
In CVnCta saeCVLa
Endless glory and rejoicing
he to the Father and Son and Holy Ghosty
now and henceforth for ever

Chronogram for 1869

The two angels holds shield with the texts:

gLo
rIŠ sanCtIs
sIMI trIVnI
VsDei sa
CratVs
a
DevInCto
senatV po
pVLoqVe
MICropra
geno
Chronogram for 1772 Chronogram for 1772

Annotation

The column was erected in 1715 as an expression of gratitude for the end in 1713 of the plague epidemy in Prague. It was commissioned by the Lesser Town councillors. Some statues were added after the famine in 1772. The huge pedestal itself is made of sandstone and reaches 20 metres high. The sandstone is decorated with black and red marble.

The column was designed by G. B. Alliprandi and it was made by stone-mason F. W. Herstorf, statues are the work of J. O. Mayer and F. Geiger. After a famine in 1772 statues of angels with cartouches and vases from I. F. Platzer's workshop were added.

Some angels are copies, signed a.o. kopie z fučík 1997 and kopie m.a.j. kačerovi 1997.

Marian, Holy Trinity and Plague Columns (Mariensäule, Dreifaltigkeitssäule, Pestsäule)

Marian and Holy Trinity columns are religious monuments with a statue of Saint Mary or a depiction of the Holy Trinity on top of a column. Around the base of the column are usually various saints. Marian columns were built to thank the Virgin Mary for intervention to quell the pestilence and other scourges. The first of those was erecrted in Vienna in 1667 (Mariensäule) and the second in 1679 also in Vienna at the Graben, the Pestsäule.
The purpose of the Holy Trinity columns was usually simply to celebrate the church and the faith, although the plague motif could play a role.
Erecting religious monuments in the form of a column surmounted by a figure or a Christian symbol was a gesture of public faith that flourished in the Catholic countries of Europe especially in the 17th and 18th centuries (Wikipedia)

Sculptors

Sources & Information

Tags

  • Chronogram
  • Geiger, Ferdinand
  • John of Nepomuk, St.
  • Ludmila, St.
  • Mary with Child
  • Mayer, Jan Oldřich
  • Plague Column
  • Procopius, St.
  • Trinity Column
  • Trinity Column
  • Wenceslas, St.
  • Location N 50°5'17" E 14°24'8"

    eXTReMe Tracker
    Item Code: czpr030; Photograph: 18 February 2011
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
    If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt