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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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Violet Hoda (2 months ago)
One of my favorite cities to be in, such great spot this being one of them. Old Town Square is super nice!
Monika Varshney (4 months ago)
Beautiful Church in Prague's Old Town Square. Visited Prague during Covid times which gave us to enjoy the crowd-free square and admire this marvelous church.
المعين Al Mouin (5 months ago)
when you see something like that you feel like waw how old it is!
Jim Turnbull (5 months ago)
Stunning 14th century Gothic church which towers above the town square. Interior is equally as impressive and features stunning baroque furnishings. Highly recommended for a visit. Although the church closes in the evening, it also worth walking past in the dark, as is strikes an even more impressive sight when illuminated against the night sky.
I A (Izzy) (6 months ago)
Historical fantastic place to be and to visit , never ever missed the main attractions in the area as they are all next to each other .
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