Church of St. James the Greater in Brno

Church of St. James the Greater in Brno

An impressive Late Gothic church with a unique ossuary

The Church of St. James the Greater is a Late Gothic three-aisled church with Baroque ornamentation situated on St. James’ Square in the centre of Brno. It originates from the beginning of the 13th century. In the church, you will find the grave of Marshal Louis Raduit de Souches, the famous defender of the city during the siege in the Thirty Years’ War, and next to it there is a unique ossuary. The church has been recently renovated and is resplendent in its brilliance.
The Church of Saint James the Greater stands out among the many churches in Brno. Its tower is 94 metres high and its architecture is a combination of High Gothic and dynamic Baroque. The furnishing includes a wood-carving of the crucifixion of Christ from the end of the 13th century which is the most precious work of art in the church, as well as Baroque marble altars. Looking up, you will see a beautiful lierne vault in the presbytery.

Work conducted during the recent renovation of the adjacent St. James’ Square revealed a former burial site and cellars of an old ossuary, probably the second largest in Europe.

A legend to make you smile

The church has yet another peculiarity. In the southern window of the tower, there is a figure of a small man exposing his naked stone bottom towards the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul  as well as to everyone passing by. He is called Nehaňba (in Czech “someone who is not ashamed”) and is the main character of one of Brno’s best known legends - the Legend of an Impolite Man. This amusing Late Gothic figure was meant to ironize the slow construction of the cathedral.