Reconstruction Work Has Begun On St. James Church in Brno, and Will Take Two Years
The Church of St. James in the centre of Brno, considered to be one of the city’s most important historical buildings, will undergo restoration work for nearly two years. The late Gothic church will have its windows replaced, the roof repaired and, most importantly, the public will gain access to the church tower with a view across the whole of Brno. Photo credit: svatyjakub.cz
Brno, March 5 (BD) – The opening ceremony for the renovation work on Tuesday, 2 March, was attended by South Moravian Deputy Governor Jan Zámečník. According to Jan Pacner, parish priest of St. James, the repairs are necessary, which is why the reparation of the church actually started at the end of last year.
“The most important task is certainly to replace the 2,500 square metres of the large copper mantle of the roof, through which water leaks and rots the trusses,” explained Pacner. “These also need to be repaired. In addition, the stone elements of the façade are often in poor condition and can create a safety issue for pedestrians around the church. That’s why we need to secure and restore them.”
The reconstruction, which will cost nearly CZ 130 million, involves stone features and new windows, in addition to the roof and trusses. The main attraction after the modifications will be a viewpoint halfway up the church tower at a height of 42 metres, giving visitors to the city a panoramic view of the centre of Brno. The city administration and the parish believe that this will make the church, which sits on top of the second largest ossuary in Europe, an even greater tourist attraction.
The church has received European money for the investment, which will cover most of the costs. The City of Brno will also contribute CZK 10 million to the project. The reconstruction is expected to take two years, during which time restrictions are expected both inside the church and in its surroundings, which will affect the normal use of Jakubské náměstí for cultural and other events.
“It is possible that we will have to close the church for a while during the repair work. Traffic around the church will be maintained. We will have to take up space for scaffolding and equipment around the church, which will partially reduce the restaurant gardens. We will try to minimize any restrictions,” added Pacner.