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

ana purna (8 months ago)
it’s a spectacular old church that unfortunately had been obscured by other newer buildings built in front of it. i feel only sadness whenever i look at it. what was the government thinking, allowing such a thing to happen? a crime against history!
John (8 months ago)
A very beautiful building, especially the story with the cup and the statue that closes the cup on the building is interesting. I advise you to definitely take a look at this building and read the story.
Hellyeah1079 (9 months ago)
The Church of Our Lady in Prague, also known as the Týn Church, is a striking Gothic masterpiece that dominates the skyline of the city. As I approached the church, I was immediately captivated by its soaring spires and intricate façade, which exude a sense of grandeur and spirituality. Stepping inside the Church of Our Lady, I was enveloped by a serene and reverent atmosphere. The dimly lit interior, adorned with magnificent stained glass windows and ornate altars, evoked a sense of awe and tranquility. The architectural details, from the vaulted ceilings to the meticulously carved stone elements, showcased the skill and craftsmanship of the medieval artisans. One of the most notable features of the church is the mesmerizing astrological clock, which stands as a testament to the ingenuity of its time. The clock not only tells the time but also displays the positions of celestial bodies, providing a unique intersection of science and spirituality. Witnessing its intricate movements and rich symbolism was truly awe-inspiring. The Church of Our Lady in Prague is not only a place of worship but also a significant historical and cultural landmark. Its towering presence and remarkable architecture make it an iconic symbol of the city. Visiting this magnificent church is an opportunity to appreciate the artistic and architectural achievements of the past while connecting with a sense of spirituality and history that permeates its walls.
UnName (9 months ago)
The Church of Our Lady before Týn is situated in one of the most vibrant and beautiful areas of Prague. The surrounding streets are filled with historic architecture, quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants, creating a lively and colorful atmosphere. It's a great place to explore, shop, dine, and enjoy the lively vibe of Prague's Old Town.
Ghasem Aloostany (10 months ago)
In the 11th century, the Old Town plaza area was occupied by a Romanesque church, which was built for foreign merchants coming to the nearby Týn Courtyard.[1] 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. The church was designed 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 building 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.
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