Church of St James (Jacob) the Greater. Gothic church at Jakubske square. The Saint James’s parish church (found 1243) where little Gustav Mahler first became acquainted with the Catholic mass.
Choir master 1858-1909: Heinrich August Fischer (1827-1917).
Silver ore was discovered in the region of Czech-Moravian Uplands as early as the 1340s. Soon afterwards the Royal mining town of Jihlava (German Iglau) was founded. At the same time as the first burgher townhouses were built, the foundations of the Church of St James were also laid. The new church was ceremonially consecrated by the Bishop of Olomouc, Bruno of Schaumburk, on May 31st 1257 but only the presbytery was then built. The completed church was a three-nave structure with two imposing towers at its front. The administration of the new church was entrusted to the Premonstratensian monastery in nearby Želivy. When the Jihlava convent of the Želivy monastery ceased to exist in 1567, the church came under the jurisdiction of the Premonstratensian monastery in Strahov, Prague.
The south tower of the church was first altered in the 1650s, when it had to be lowered due to its unstable condition. The destabilization was caused by a fire, which engulfed the whole town in 1523. The reconstructed tower was then given a new bell named “Zuzana”, the second largest bell in all Moravia after the bell of the Cathedral of St Wenceslas in the town of Olomouc.
The Gothic appearance of the church was somewhat affected by the addition of the Baroque Chapel of The Virgin Mary of Seven Sorrows, with its richly ornamented interior, in the years 1702 and 1703. Most of the church contents also originate from the 18th century.
The most recent building alternations in the spirit of Historic (Romantic) Purism took place between the years 1904 and 1906 under the leadership of the architect Richard Völkel. A new roof was installed at the same time. Further work took place within the interior during the 1980s.
Jihlava. Jacob´s square; a chapel with Getseman garden in the form as it was seen by Gustav Mahler.