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

Ivo Nikolov (27 days ago)
When visiting the Klementinum complex, you must visit the oldest library in the Czech Republic and the astronomical tower. My advice is to book your tickets in advance. The library is remarkable, but unfortunately you can only peek in, and at the top of the astronomical tower( the tower it's not related to the astronomical clock) you will have an stunning view of the city.
Shujun Lin (4 months ago)
Buy the tickets online! We came here two days, first day, the tickets were all sold out. Second day came in the morning. There were some tickets left. They take you inside, super interactive! Their elevators weren’t working, so If you are scared of stairs. You might want to sit this out.
Fawaz Zainaldeen (6 months ago)
One of most historic landmarks in Prague, the library is old and has many old books one of them from the third century!! You cannot go further inside one two meters and take pictures without flash because they have to maintain certain temperature and humidity! Another cool thing, you can go up to the tower and enjoy the view of the old town from above! Must Visit :)
andrei-cosmin popa (6 months ago)
Interesting to visit because of its uniqueness. Mind the fact visitors cannot, in fact, enter the library. Rather, they are allowed to take pictures from the door.
Christina Beebe (7 months ago)
Fun experience visiting this absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking library & astronomical tower. We weren't able to go inside the library room itself, as to preserve it. I wasn't aware of that fact prior to purchasing the guided tour, so I was a bit disappointed , but understand why that rule is in place. Still a great experience!
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