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In the neighbourhood of the Old Town Hall there is a munument rising high which creates an inseparable panormama of Prague. It is the Church of Our Lady before Týn which is also incorrectly referred to as Týnský chrám (Týn Church). The church has an intersting history and beautiful interior decoration.
Predecessor of the church
Where the Church of Our Lady before Týn stretches at present there used to be a Romanesque church in the 11th century. In the 13th century it was replaced by a Gothic structure whose walls remembered the preachings of a significant church reformator Konrád Waldhauser, one of the predecessors of Master Jan Hus.
A century later an extensive church reconstruction in the Late-Gothic style had been started after which the main church of the Old Town in Prague was built. The building was carried out by the noted architects of that period such as Matthias of Arras or Petr Parléř. The church construction took many years. In the opening part of the construction not even the typical spires or the gable were completed. For example the dominant eighty metres high spires were finished only in 1511.
Fires and reconstructions
The church played a crucial role in the period of the Hussite revolts when it became a significant religious
centre of the followers of Master Jan Hus. After the defeat of the White Mountain the church was again administarted by the Catholics. The year 1679 was also very unfortunate for the church was affected by a great fire. There was another fire in 1819 during which the fire spread as far as the entire northern spire. It left extensive damages behind because the complete northern gable and also the roof truss of the spire were badly affected. These damages were repaired during the reconstruction of the building in the second half of the 19th century.
Description of the church
Church of Our Lady before Týn is a three-aisled Gothic basilica which can be entered through four portals. The structure is dominated by two eighty meters high spires with a Gothic gable with a relief of Madonna rising high between the spires. The church also involves the Chapel of the Holy Cross, Chapel of St. Ludmila and Chapel of Virgin Mary. There is a unique sight – a tin baptismal font being one of the oldest and biggest in Prague. It was made in 1414 and ranks among the original church furnishings from that period. Another remarkable sight is also the main altar with the painting „Assumption of Virgin Mary“ by one of the most significant Czech painters, Karla Škréta. If you want to visit the church do not forget to view the tombstone of the famous astronomer and astrologer Tycho Brahe. There is a legend related to his portrait saying that who touches his right cheek he will get rid of toothache.
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Praha 1 – Staré Město (Prague 1 – Old Town)
Tram: 17, 18, 53 Staroměstská (then walk along Kaprova street)
Bus: 133 Staroměstská (then walk along Kaprova street)
Metro: A – Staroměstská (then walk along Kaprova street)
GPS: 50°5’15.709″N, 14°25’21.064″E
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