Czech name: Chrám Matky Boží před Týnem
Visible in any weather from any point of Prague, dressed in the rays of the sun in Golden decorations, the Church in Prague of the Virgin Mary dates back up to seven centuries. It is a functioning Church, which was constructed by Peter Parler, the legendary architect, and sculptor from Germany. The style of the construction is Gothic and has a few Baroque components. This Prague sightseeing is an outstanding building of the Czech capital, with mounting towers over the Old Town (Staré město) and square buildings’ bright roofs. The Church’s spires, rising above the cozy Prague streets of the Old City, serve as a background for the most atmospheric photos of the Czech capital.
Location & How to Get There
Address: Staroměstské náměstí (Lesser Town Square), 110 00, Staré Město
Tram: Daytime numbers: 2, 17, 18; nighttime numbers:93. Stop: Staroměstská
The fastest and most convenient way to get to the Church of Our Lady before Týn is the Prague metro (Line A/ Green Line). You need to get off at Staroměstská station and walk about 500 m. It is easy to navigate; the towers are visible from afar. The silhouette of the building looks especially impressive in the dark when the lights are turned on. The subway runs from 4:34 am, with the last train returning to the final station at 00:40 am.
Opening Hours & Entry
The Church is closed on Mondays. From Tuesday to Saturday, opening hours: from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. On Sunday: from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.
Church attendance is free, but it is recommended to leave 25 CZK (1 EUR) in the donation box near the entrance doors. Since the Church is active, access is restricted to tourists on religious holidays, when solemn services are held, and only parishioners are allowed to attend mass.
What to Do & What to See
You can find inside this unique Prague sightseeing:
- 19 decorated altars;
- 14 large canvases, authored by F. Cermak;
- Two benches made in the Gothic style;
- The most rusted tin font of 1414, which bears reliefs of the apostles;
- Gothic pulpit made of stone in the 15th century;
- The statue of the Madonna and child is located the right-side nave, in the altar;
- K. Skreta’s paintings “Ascension of the Virgin Mary” and “Trinity” located on the central altar, are worthy of close attention;
- The work of M. Rejsek in 1493 in the form of a stone canopy can not be ignored.
- A 14th-century Gothic fresco depicting Saint Jerome with a lion, which was discovered by restorers only in 2000.
The real jewel among the artifacts in the Old Town Prague is the old organ of the Tyn Church. It is the creation of Mundt, a skilled German master, dated 1670-1673. It has not been preserved in its original form to this day, but fine work has been done in Bonn to restore the organ. In 2000, it was returned to Prague.
The temple’s value lies not only in its uniqueness, architecture, and interior decoration but also in the 60 graves of both great and unknown people, whose ashes and remains are managed with exceptional attention and honor. The most outstanding of them is the grave of Tycho de Brahe, an astrologer who served Rudolf II. This is not the only exciting burial site. Inside it are the graves of Bishop Lucian, the Jewish boy Shimon Abeles, the ten-year-old son of a merchant who secretly went to the monastery to preach, and then was baptized. Upon learning of this, his father ordered him to be tortured for a long time, and then killed. As it turned out after the young man’s grave’s autopsy, the body was perfectly preserved. After that, Shimon was solemnly buried in the Church as a Martyr.
The first written mention of the early parish Church of Our Lady before Tyn is recorded in 1135. Construction of the Church began in the middle of the 14th century, finished in the early 16th century. In the first half of the XV. century, the Church became the central Hussite Church, the Archbishop of which was Jan Rokycana. Despite the fact that in 1679 it was severely damaged by fire, it managed to maintain its grandeur and acquire uniqueness. It is acknowledged that it was after the fire when the central hub displayed significantly lower, and in the XVII. century, Baroque towers were restored on the site of the Gothic buildings, and their height reaches 80 meters. If you look at them carefully, the towers’ width is entirely different.
Today the Church is a Basilica with Western towers and three choirs. The total length is 52 meters, 28 meters wide, the towers’ height is 70 meters, and the middle side naves are 44 and 24 meters.
The Tyn Church in Prague construction is intertwined with one interesting case that occurred during the roof’s construction. The tree for it was borrowed for the construction of gallows intended to execute a large number of people.
Another unusual feature of citizens of the Old Town Prague is the belief that a decent method to be relieved of tooth pain is to step on a tombstone. That is why some of those are damaged.