St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral
Pilsen’s truly dominating feature is the Gothic-style St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral. The cathedral boasts the highest church tower in the Czech Republic (102.26 m/ 335.5 ft). After you’ve tackled the nearly 300 stairs to reach the top, a wonderful view of the entire city and surrounding region will open before you. On good-weather days, not only can you see the peaks of both the Bohemian and Upper Palatine Forests, but even part of the Alps.
Monday – Friday 10:00 – 18:00
Saturday – Sunday 13:00 – 18:00
Monday – Sunday 10:00–18:30
(admissions close at 18:00)
Single admission (tower):
Adult CZK 90
Children, students and seniors CZK 60
Family admission CZK 180
Year-round season ticket (tower):
Adult CZK 350
Seniors, students CZK 250
Children CZK 200
301 00 Pilsen
History of the cathedral
Construction of the church, named after the devoted patron of Pilsen, St. Bartholomew, began at the same time of the city’s founding (1295) and was completed at the start of the 16th century. Only one of the two planned towers, the north and south towers, was ever finished. In 1993, when Pope John Paul II established a bishopric in Pilsen, the Church of St. Bartholomew became a cathedral.
Since the summer of 2021, when the cathedral’s extensive interior renovations were completed, we’ve offered commentated tours of the interior, tower, and attic area. Tours in English or German must be arranged at the Tourist Information Centre or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The most valuable piece in the cathedral is the Pilsen Madonna. This Gothic marlite statue was made in the style of “a beautiful Czech Madonna” toward the end of the 14th century. Since then, flocks of pilgrims have travelled here to ask Madonna for help or to be healed from their afflictions. The fame of the Pilsen Madonna spread over the land, and it’s to no one’s surprise that imitations of the original began popping up. You can even find one such imitation situated on top a plague column nearby the cathedral. A human skull held aloft by Jesus refers to the plague.
The little angel of luck
The rear of the cathedral displays a sculptural group representing Christ on the Mount of Olives. An iron grating, featuring small angel heads, protects the sculptures. It’s here you’ll find that one angel has been quite well-thumbed in comparison to the others. That is exactly the place to which many locals still go to this day to offer up their prayers. One person will tell you the little angel will grant your wish, the next will claim it brings good fortune to your life if you touch it. You can decide which legend you prefer to believe. Either way, it’s definitely worth a try. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be leaving Pilsen a little luckier than when you came.