The Bethlehem Chapel is a medieval religious building in the Old Town of Prague, notable for its connection with the origins of the Bohemian Reformation, especially with the Czech reformer Jan Hus.

It was founded in 1391 by Wenceslas Kriz and John of Milheim, and taught solely in the Czech vernacular, thus breaking with German domination of the Medieval Bohemian church. The building was never officially called a church, only a chapel, though it could contain 3,000 people; indeed, the chapel encroached upon the parish of Sts. Philip and James, and John of Milheim paid the pastor of that church 90 grossi as compensation. Hus became a rector and a preacher in March 1402. After Hus's excommunication in 1412, the Pope ordered the Bethlehem chapel to be pulled down, although this action was rejected by the Czech majority on the Old Town council. After Hus's death, he was succeeded by Jacob of Mies.

In the 17th century, the building was acquired by the Jesuits. It fell into disrepair and in 1786 it was demolished; in 1836–1837 an apartment building was built in its place. Under the Czechoslovakian communist regime the building was restored by the government to its state at the time of Hus. Most of the chapel's exterior walls and a small portion of the pulpit date back to the medieval chapel. The wall paintings are largely from Hus's time there, and the text below is taken from his work De sex erroribus, and contrast the poverty of Christ with the riches of the Catholic Church of Hus's time.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 1391
Category: Religious sites in Czech Republic

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Naomie Kouamela (3 months ago)
Really beautiful chapel
Simon Watt (10 months ago)
A good place to chill for half an hour. The history of the place I genuinely found interesting and informative.
Vlad Kleshnev (11 months ago)
Unfortunately the English information stands, while much appreciated, are simply literal word translations from Czech (presumably using an automatic service like Google translate). This means that they are hard to read and the meanings hard to grasp. Otherwise interesting building :)
Lucy_ M (11 months ago)
Entry cost 30 crowns (£1) as a student and the guide was so lovely. She gave us sheets to read spoke a little and then left us to walk around and enjoy. Upstairs is worth a visit too and you can leave a comment in the guestbook. Worth a visit but you don't need too long 20mins was good for us. Just note they won't let you in half an hour before closing.
Andre Marc (16 months ago)
Remember what the Czech nation achieved in past. Czech martyr Jan Hus that preached here 6 centuries ago was one of the best men not only born to our nation but all around the world. His followers wrote down first Bill of rights and freedoms more than 3centuries earlier than the French thinkers. They also were ready to die protecting it and showed valour by defeating 4 crusades deployed by Vatican and Germans to "correct" the Czech rebels that lived their own way of belief based on justice, equality, freedom and demonetized church.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Luxembourg Palace

The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.