The Clementinum is a historic complex of buildings in Prague. Until recently the complex hosted the National, University and Technical libraries, the City Library also being located nearby on Mariánské Náměstí. The Technical library and the Municipal library have moved to the Prague National Technical Library at Technická 6 since 2009. It is currently in use as the National Library of the Czech Republic.

Its history dates from the existence of a chapel dedicated to Saint Clement in the 11th century. A Dominican monastery was founded in the medieval period, which was transformed in 1556 to a Jesuit college. In 1622 the Jesuits transferred the library of Charles University to the Klementinum, and the college was merged with the University in 1654. The Jesuits remained until 1773, when the Klementinum was established as an observatory, library, and university by the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. At one time the Clementinum was known as the third largest Jesuit college in the world.

The National Library was founded in 1781 and from 1782 the Clementinum was a legal deposit library. In 1918 the newly established Czecho-Slovak state took over the library. Since 1990, it has been the National Library. It contains a collection of Mozartiana, material pertaining to Tycho Brahe and Comenius, as well as historic examples of Czech literature. The architecture is a notable example of Baroque architecture and Clementinum, covering 20,000 square metres, is the second largest complex of buildings in Prague after the Prague Castle.

The oldest weather recording in the area of the Czech lands started in Clementinum in the year 1775. The recording continues through the present day.

The Baroque library hall inside Clementinum is known for its beautiful interior, including ceiling artwork by Jan Hiebl.



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Founded: 1622
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Czech Republic


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User Reviews

Kurt De Ridder (3 months ago)
Great historical place to see. The library itself can only briefly be seen from the outside, but to prevent any damage to this legendary library, this is the right thing to do. The rest of the tour with the astronomy tower, including the view over Prague from the top was breathtaking. Two thumbs up as well to our guide Miro!
Maria Zeee (3 months ago)
The most beautiful library of the world , very very ornated which holds soooo many books and tge view from the tower was great. Only bad thing is I booked the time slot that was narrated by a Czech speaker but on the website it didn't specify which language will be spoken. Also the time is very limited to be there.
Amanda Gonzalez (3 months ago)
We were so glad we visited! The views were amazing and the library was beautiful. Book ahead or stop by in the morning to reserve tickets. We went to grab tickets one afternoon and the remaining timeslots were somewhat limited. The steps at the top are super steep, I have a hard time with heights and coming down was a little slow-going for me.
Joshua Rizzello (3 months ago)
Be aware of the “first hour 50% off discount” because they only do it if there are sufficient people in the first hour!!!!! Kinda of a scam but okay. Regarding the price it’s okay, not super cheap but at least a nice view and explanation of the library and astronomical tower
Lana Goodman-Tomsett (5 months ago)
The library and view are wonderful. I could stay in the library for hours and hours, it’s a shame you can only look in and can’t really enter into it. Our tour guide was mediocre at best, he didn’t really know anything and suggested if we had any questions to google them or go to the National Library next door. The library as genuinely one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, so it’s definitely worth seeing, just don’t expect much from the tour.
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