Czech name: Loreta
An important Catholic enclave and pilgrimage destination in Hradčany — Prague’s Castle District — Loreta is a world-famous church in Prague. A complex of chapels, cloisters, and a central holy house, Loreta is a popular Prague sightseeing landmark that visitors of all religious and non-religious persuasions should visit.
Location & How to Get There
Located at Loretánské náměstí 7, the complex is easily accessible by public transportation.
By tram, take the number 22 or historic 91 to Pohořelec station. The complex is about a five-minute walk from there. If traveling by metro, take the A or C line, depart at the Malostranská station, and then hop on the number 22 tram to Pohořelec.
Opening Hours & Entry
The Loreta church complex is open daily. Guests can wander around public sections, and worshipers can spend time in the Church of the Nativity of Our Lord everyday between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. depending on the time of the year.
Basic entry is 180 CZK, reduced tickets go for 140 CZK, and family passes will run you about 370 CZK.
What to Do & What to See
The Loreta complex is a cornucopia of artistic and liturgical marvels. A holy house, modeled after a famous Italian structure, is at the estate’s heart and belted by cloisters and chapels. Walking around the grounds can feel like taking a time machine back to medieval times.
Every day, on the hour, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m, Loreta’s clock tower rings out “A Thousand Times We Greet Thee.” Musical enthusiasts should plan their trip to catch the peal performance, which has been ringing since 1695!
Be aware that Loreta doesn’t have tour-guiding docents. However, visitors can pay 150 CZK for an audio guide in Czech, English, German, French, Russian, Italian, and Spanish. Photography is allowed; however, you can’t use a tripod or flash and must pay a 100 CZK fee for the privilege.
Loreta is home to scores of liturgical artifacts, and exhibitions are regularly held in the cloisters. The Prague Sun, a monstrance adorned with 6,222 diamonds, and a gilded chalice from 1510 are among its most notable gems.
During the summer, concerts are frequently held at the complex.
In 1626, Katerina Benigna, an aristocrat from the Lobkowicz family, commissioned the Loreta, and Italian architect Giovanni Orsi got to work. His team toiled for a little over four years, and in 1631, the buildings were consecrated.
Around 1694, renowned watchmaker Peter Neumann added about 30 bells to the clock tower and created a peal to play hourly. It’s still chiming away today!
In 1740, Kilian Ignac Dientzenhofer and Christopher Dientzenhofer — from the famed Dientzenhofer family of architects — started on a baroque upgrade. They added a second story and slipped ornamental facades onto the buildings — as was all the rage back then.
Since then, there have been repairs, renovations, and upgrades to accommodate modern living, but the facades are faithful to its 17th- and 18th-century roots.