Historical Re-Creation of a Jesuit Chapel in the Czech Republic

Petr Hofman, a reader based in the former Czechoslovakia, sent LAJ some news about the historical re-creation of the altar of an old Jesuit chapel that has been created as part of an event that takes place in the Czech Republic that celebrates the rich ecclesiastical history of that country.  As part of that, efforts were made to create a reproduction of a historic altar and chapel. Doing so has involved quite a bit of work on the part of the organizers, including generating a structure that would approximate the dimensions of the original altar, as well as the other liturgical ornaments that would have been attached to it.  Our reader provides some background:

We have a forgotten chapel in a state archive. This chapel served the Jesuit College's sodality. After the order was dissolved, the chapel was also abandoned, and for about 250 years, it was not used as a sacred space.  In the Czech Republic, there is an ecumenical event called "Night of Churches" organized by the Roman Catholic Church. This tradition originated in Austria. As a teacher and lecturer, I came up with an idea to showcase this chapel to the public. Both the state institution and the church agree. I found 300-year-old plans indicating where the altar used to stand in the chapel, which is square-shaped.

As you will see, the altar is indeed very small, of paleochristian or recusant house-chapel like dimensions. Liturgically, like most chapels, it would have no doubt been limited primarily to Low Masses and obviously this surrounding architecture also presented limitations in which to work. Still, even with a small space, one can see how much potential there is for creating a noble altar in the Roman tradition, even with all of these challenges.

The following images will give you a sense of the progression from the former chapel space through the construction process.

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