Clementinum - Astronomical Tower, Baroque Library, Mirror Chapel (Klementinum (Zrcadlová kaple, Barokní knihovní sál, Astronomická věž ))

Mariánské náměstí 5 Praha 1 - Staré Město Phone: 222 220 879


Clementinum is the largest complex of buildings except for the Prague Castle (Pražský hrad). It is the first college in Prague where the Jesuits came in 1556. Ferdinand I called them up to Prague in order to help him in his Counter-Reformation effort. After arrival, they settled in a former Dominican monastery of St. Clement in the Old Town (Staré Město) next to the Charles Bridge (Karlův most). This small church later gave a name to the entire complex – Clementinum. In the period of recatholisation after the defeat of Bohemian Estates in 1620, there was a great building boom which continued till the middle of the 18th century. The Jesuit college complex of buildings was built on spacious grounds where previously stood 32 houses, seven courts, three churches, a monastery and several gardens. The college buildings stretched around five courtyards where were three churches (St. Salvatore, St. Clement and the Italian Chapel), two towers, schools, a college, a library, a theatre, an observatory and its own printing house. At first, the Jesuit College competed with Charles University. After 1622, under a guidance of the Jesuits, both schools joined, the Jesuits also joined the libraries and built rooms for them here. Since 1654 there had been Charles – Ferdinand University until its splitting into Czech and German at the end of the 19th century. | The Church of the Holy Savior (Kostel Nejsvětějšího Salvátora) was once the main Jesuit church in Bohemia. It was founded in 1578 on the walls of the Gothic Church of St. Clement. It was built gradually till the middle of the 17th century. The oldest part of the church is a chancel and a transverse nave, thereafter a three-nave with a marble portal were built and the stands were built and stuccoes were worked out above the lateral naves under the guidance of Carlo Lurago. Later, a Francesco Caratti designed a dome which was decorated with stuccoes by Jan Jiří Bendl, who also created the statues in a peristyle in front of the entrance where are the stuccoes by Giovanni Battista Cometa. As for the statues, there are: the Church Fathers, saints, Evangelists, Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. In 1714, František Maxmilián Kaňka adjusted the church towers. In the church there is an early Baroque confessional decorated with the statues of Twelve Apostles by Jan Jiří Bendl. On the main altar there is a painting by Jan Jiří Häring. The oval Italian Chapel of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Kaple Nanebevzetí Panny Marie) was built at the corner of the chancel by the builder Domenico Bossi in the years 1590 - 1597 by design of the architect Ottorino Mascarino. The chapel was built for the needs of Italians settled in Prague which fact explains its name Italian. The column entrance into the chapel in Karlova Street was built according to Kaňka’s design. This pointed entrance is also an entrance into the third church, The Church of St. Clement (Kostel Svatého Klimenta) from the years 1711 – 1715. This Baroque church is also built according to Kaňka’s design. Its exterior is simple, but its exterior is splendid. In the niches there are statues of the Church Fathers and Evangelists by Matthias Braun who also decorated with his sculptures six lateral altars, a pulpit, a confessional and an organ choir. On one of the altars there is a painting by Peter Brandl. The church has got one of the very best Baroque interiors in Prague.Building of the oldest part of the college at the side of Křižovnická Street was commenced by Carlo Lurago in 1653, then Francesco Caratti and Giovanni Domenico Orsi continued until 1679 and it was finished in the 30’s of the 18th century by František Maxmilián Kaňka. In the years between 1924 and 1925, a two-storey wing at Křižovnická Street was raised on the third floor, designed by the architect Ladislav Machoň, and the space was projected for the needs of the university l

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