Church of Our Lady before Týn

Prague, Czech Republic

The Church of Our Lady before Týn is a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague and has been the main church of this part of the city since the 14th century. The church's towers are 80 m high and topped by four small spires.

In the 11th century, this area was occupied by a Romanesque church, which was built there for foreign merchants coming to the nearby Týn Courtyard. Later it was replaced by an early Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn in 1256. Construction of the present church began in the 14th century in the late Gothic style under the influence of Matthias of Arras and later Peter Parler. By the beginning of the 15th century, construction was almost complete; only the towers, the gable and roof were missing. The church was controlled by Hussites for two centuries, including John of Rokycan, future archbishop of Prague, who became the church's vicar in 1427. The roof was completed in the 1450s, while the gable and northern tower were completed shortly thereafter during the reign of George of Poděbrady (1453–1471). His sculpture was placed on the gable, below a huge golden chalice, the symbol of the Hussites. The southern tower was not completed until 1511, under architect Matěj Rejsek.

After the lost Battle of White Mountain (1620) began the era of harsh recatholicisation (part of the Counter-Reformation). Consequently, the sculptures of 'heretic king' George of Poděbrady and the chalice were removed in 1626 and replaced by a sculpture of the Virgin Mary, with a giant halo made from by melting down the chalice. In 1679 the church was struck by lightning, and the subsequent fire heavily damaged the old vault, which was later replaced by a lower baroque vault.

Renovation works carried out in 1876–1895 were later reversed during extensive exterior renovation works in the years 1973–1995. Interior renovation is still in progress.

The northern portal is a wonderful example of Gothic sculpture from the Parler workshop, with a relief depicting the Crucifixion. The main entrance is located on the church's western face, through a narrow passage between the houses in front of the church.

The early baroque altarpiece has paintings by Karel Škréta from around 1649. The oldest pipe organ in Prague stands inside this church. The organ was built in 1673 by Heinrich Mundt and is one of the most representative 17th-century organs in Europe.

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Founded: 14th century
Category: Religious sites in Czech Republic

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mako (8 months ago)
Very impressive church, it’s much worth taking a visit inside, it’s fit narrowly between buildings so you can’t see much of the outside, but in the inside it’s really impressive. The visit inside is free which is much appreciated, but you can voluntarily gift €1.5 for the renovation of the church
hieu tran (9 months ago)
The church located right in old town square and there is beautiful view from the playground. Absolutely recommended in Prague.
Julian White (11 months ago)
A beautiful building, but one of the coldest welcomes from a church. There are signs stating "no photos, no eating, no drinking, no touching and no talking". The seating is barriered off other than a few seats in a corner, there's no welcome for those wanting to pray. A genuinely quite depressing welcome despite the beauty all around.
Sin Fong Chan (2 years ago)
Church of Our Lady before Týn on Prague Old Town Visited on 24/9/2019 Church of Our Lady before Týn is also translated as Church of Mother of God before Týn. It is a Gothic church, with two towers, and each tower's spire is topped by eight smaller spires in two layers of four.
Hollow Knight (2 years ago)
An absolutely stunning church inside & out. The organ music is amazing and completes the atmosphere, making it just perfect. A must visit!
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