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
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User Reviews

David Porter (4 months ago)
Don’t bother with the tour. The library is beautiful but you’re only allowed to look in from the doorway for a minute or two. The rest of the time is spent climbing up and down stairs in the tower. There are plenty of other places in Prague to get a scenic view for less money.
Szymon Pietrzak (5 months ago)
Stunning library and amazing astronomical tower with top balcony giving you panoramic view of the city. Unfortunately you're only allowed to peek into the dim lit library literally from the doorstep (too many people in the room affect temperature and humidity which influence aging process of the books). You actually see more on the postcards and photos they sell in the ticket office. Definitely a must see though if you're hoping to see the library in detail or walk across the room you'll be bitterly disappointed. The view from the balcony on the tower definitely sweetens the deal.
Denis VERBOCKHAVEN (5 months ago)
Interesting visit. The library is somehow impressive. Comments from the guide were rather uninteresting. The astronomical tower and the 360’ view from the top floor is obviously the most interesting part of the visit.
Melanie Chow (5 months ago)
Gorgeous historical library and beautiful views from the tower, with a nice and informative guide. But keep in mind you're not allowed to take photos of the library or to walk inside. Still definitely worth the trip.
Omar Almadani (8 months ago)
Five stars. The tour was nice and quick. But the library was breath taking. The view from the top of the tower was also really nice. There are a lot of steps to go up. There is an elevator for those who can't take the steps, however it doesn't go all the way up. And the last flight of stairs is very steep, technically it's a ladder. .
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