Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral in Prague is not only a beautiful baroque building and an orthodox church but also a place which documents Czech heroism. Czech paratroopers, who assassinated the Acting Reich-Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, during WWII, were hiding and they died there. The atmosphere of the time when the history of the 20th century was changing can be still felt there.
Transformation of the orthodox church
The Roman Catholic church (established between 1730 and 1736) was originally dedicated to the patron saint of the sick, Charles Borromeo. The building was dedicated to Byzantine missionaries Ss. Cyril and Methodius in 193, when it became the seat of bishop Gorazd, one of the founders of the Czech Orthodox Church. During WWII, the church was attacked by the gestapo, so it had to be consecrated for the third time in 1947.
After 1989, Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral was renovated; later, the interior was reconstructed. It is one of the few Czech churches that are heated in winter. The gloomy interior adds to the atmosphere of its disturbed history, and people leave the place deep in thought. Services take place in the cathedral of the Prague eparchy of the Czech Orthodox Church every Saturday at 5 PM and every Sunday at 9:30 AM.
National Monument to the Heroes of the Heydrich Terror
In the underground crypt of the baroque Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral, there is a reverential place with bleak, yet heroic history where the assassins of the Acting Reich-Protector, Reinhard Heydrich, were hiding after their resistance act in 1942. However, the seven paratroopers were betrayed. They all chose death by their last seven bullets, over getting into the Nazis’ hands.
Adolf Hitler’s revenge for the death of the Acting Reich-Protector was immense. Thousands of people died, including all the superiors of the Orthodox Church of Ss. Cyril and Methodius. On the other hand, the paratroopers went down in history and Czechoslovakia could be proud. Today, there is the National Monument to the Heroes of the Heydrich Terror with an extensive emotional exposition of the mentioned events. It is open all year long from 9 AM till 5 PM except for Monday and some holidays, and the admission is free.
How to get there
The baroque church is located in the very busy Resslova Street. The easiest way to get there is to take one of the many tram lines or the yellow metro B line from Karlovo Square (exits to Karlovo and Palackého Squares). From the Vltava River, you can go from Jiráskovo Square with many bus and tram stops and walk up Resslova Street to Ss. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral. If possible, do not go by car; it is very difficult to find a parking place in this part of Prague.