Cathedral of Our Lady before Týn with a View of Old Town Square

Sudek took a total sixteen of shots of the blasted balustrade on the northern tower of the cathedral of Our Lady before Týn on Old Town Square. The main motif was a panorama of the western side of the square with the dominating form of the damaged tower of the town hall and its Neo-Gothic wing.

As late as 9 May, the tower of the cathedral was a refuge for a sniper who threatened the square and was disarmed that afternoon.Jiří Padevět, Průvodce protektorátní Prahou. Místa – události – lidé, Academia, Praha, 2013, p. 261. However, the banister of the church had been damaged earlier during the artillery shelling which, in addition to breaking the balustrade, also shot off the corner spire on the northern tower.Oldřich Mahler, Po stopách květnového povstání v Praze, in: Staletá Praha XIX, Praha bojující, 1989, p. 20. The damaged tower was the outcome of two reconstructions in the 19th century. The first took place after the fire in 1819, the following one in the second half of the 19th century, during the complex romantic restoration of the cathedral, which gave the church its present form.DL (ZV, MŠ) [Dobroslav Líbal (Zuzana Všetečková, Michal Šroněk)], Kostel P. Marie před Týnem, in: Pavel Vlček a kol., Umělecké památky Prahy. Staré Město, Josefov, Academia, Praha, 1996, p. 101.

The area of the upper walkway on the tower provided the photographer with a space for an artistic representation of the square, framed by the ruined balustrade. One of the images shows the overall condition of the burnt-down town hall from a bird's eye view. A more detailed observation of the photograph reveals that Sudek took the picture when a podium was standing in front of the burnt-down wing on Old Town Square. It was probably put up between the second half of May and the beginning of July, when festivities relating to the anniversary of the burning of Master Jan Hus were taking place there. The podium also stood there on the day of the festive march of the Czechoslovak air show from Great Britain on 21 August 1945.http://www.vhu.cz/slavnostni-prehlidka-ceskoslovenskeho-letectva-z-velke-britanie-v-praze-21-srpna-1945/ (accessed 19 June 2017). The tribune is decorated with flags – two Czechoslovak and Soviet ones and one American and British.