The fragile Gothic beauty and impressive Baroque dynamic of Prague’s churches and chapels stuns even the locals of this historic European city. Whether it be a chilly winter or blossoming spring during your visit, these sites maintain their charm in any season. June 9 offers the wonderful opportunity of the Night of the Churches programme, where for one night, all churches are open to the public with concerts and seminars.
The Church of Our Lady Victorious is hidden away in the Malá Strana area of Prague, but is well worth the trip. Built in 1613, Our Lady Victorious was the first baroque church to be built in Prague. Draped in smooth marble and gold, the church is a hidden luxury. Of course, what draws in tourists and Czechs alike is the wax effigy of baby Jesus, also known as the Infant of Prague. A section of the church is dedicated to a display of the Infant of Prague and his many fabulous gowns and gifts from famous figures of the past few centuries.
St. George’s Basilica is one of the oldest churches in the Czech Republic. It is situated at Prague Castle and was built in a Romanesque style, though Baroque elements have been added after a fire damaged the church in 1142. A number of tombs are located in the church; notably those of the ancient rulers of the country. This Basilica has an old world charm and as a part of the Prague Castle complex it would be a shame not to visit.
This cathedral, also situated at Prague Castle is a majestic Gothic masterpiece which took centuries to finish. It is a symbol of pride for the Czech Republic, not only because of its grandiose and stunning architecture but also because of the amount of time and work it required to become the breathtaking building it is today. The Great South Tower of the Cathedral is extremely tall (more than 90 m, 295 ft or 287 steps) and provides the most spectacular views of the city. Don’t miss it while visiting Prague!
St. Nicholas’ Church on Mala Strana Square is one of the three St. Nicholas churches in Prague. It is of Baroque architecture and is decorated with many paintings, statues and frescoes. The green copper roof is reminiscent of the Sacré Coeur in Paris and enriches the city skyline with its beautiful colour. Mozart played the organs in this church in the year 1787. The church also has a tower which provides lovely views of the square and the river Vltava.
Church of Our Lady Before Týn is located in the very centre of the Old Square and is therefore one of the more recognisable churches of Prague. The two spires on the church are not symmetrical; they are meant to represent femininity and masculinity, a crucial element to Gothic architecture that distinguishes it from the rest. It has a stunning interior and one of the most notable Czech painters, Karl Škréta, provided the church with a beautiful painting of the Virgin Mary which is displayed above the main altar.
St. Martin’s Church is a Gothic (Romanesque in origin) church and its south side has been attached to the Castle wall, hence the name ‘in the Wall’. This church was used for residential purposes in the 19th century, and parts of it also served as shops, until it was renovated and re-opened as a church once again around 1905. It has elements of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture and, though not as grand as some of the other churches of Prague, it has a certain charm.
As a landmark that thousands of tourists pass by every year on their walk to the Charles Bridge, St. Salvator Church is not only a pleasure for the eye but also has profound historical meaning, being the former largest residence of the Jesuits. It is considered one of the most valuable early-Baroque remnants in Prague. As the church has two incredible organs which have recently been restored, it is important to note that it also hosts classical music and opera concerts throughout the year.
Simple yet wonderful, the Bethlehem Chapel has a quiet, peaceful charm about it which has a truly calming effect which stays with you after a visit. Not one of the typical features of the city, with its Romanesque/Baroque architecture and more over its traditional look, it gives an insight into how Czech Republic used to look in the past.
Not far from the Old Town Square this church is hidden away in the narrow streets of Prague but is no less striking. Sometimes a city’s best kept secrets are its most beautiful treasures and this stunning 13th century church is one of them. The extremely detailed interior shows talented craftsmanship and leaves every visitor in awe. Yet another church to be added on the list of concert halls. With its amazing acoustics, a classical concert in St. Jilji Church is an unforgettable experience.
Two very important figures in Czech history, Christian missionaries Cyril and Methodius brought the cyrillic alphabet on their travels and introduced it to many countries, among them the Czech Republic. This church is therefore one of religious and historical significance; in comparison with others it is quite young (built in 1854 – 1863). It was built in honour of the two saints for the anniversary of their arrival to the country and is as much a symbol of national pride as it is a religious sanctuary