The Breathtaking Artwork of St. John’s Nepomuk Chapel, St.Louis

Mark / Architecture, History / / 0 Comments / Like this

The next collection of photographs I want to share from my “Churches Under God” project is that of St. John’s Nepomuk Chapel. When I was researching historic churches in St.Louis, I happened upon a grainy old photo on the internet of the interior of the church with its amazing collection of life-size statues. When I arranged for a tour/interview with Deacon Mike Buckley to see the statues and learn about the church’s history, I thought I knew roughly what to expect. I was not prepared to be truly blown away by the vivid colors and breathtaking detail of their stained glass windows. I may share some of my photographs here, but these windows are most definitely a MUST SEE in person. On a sunny day the colors are like nothing I have ever seen before.

The statues throughout the church are every bit as amazing in detail as you might imagine. The craftsmanship is truly incredible. At the entrance you will find these three angels. On the alter you will find this hand-carved and crafted work of biblical figures.

One of my favorite photographs I captured of all these churches is this one of a statue of Christ hanging on the cross while juxtaposed to the stained glass image of Christ’s resurrected. When I saw the statues and the stained glass windows, I wanted to capture a photograph that encapsulates the full spectrum of the Easter story. You cannot have the resurrection without the death and vise versa. This image captures that full contrast of death to life.

Here is the nativity scene illustrated in stained glass, along with the full scene of Christ’s resurrection.

The following is an excerpt from my article on the history of the stained glass windows at St. John’s Nepomuk Chapel as published on

It was also in 1929 when the brilliantly colorful stained glass windows were installed in the church. The artist, Emil Frei, was in Germany at the time, but in 1895 he and his new bride emigrated to San Fransisco through New York. By 1898 they had settled in St. Louis because of its large German population that made them feel more at home. In St. Louis he started the Emil Frei Art Glass company where it remains today.

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