During our seightseeing tours and visits of the Prague´s sacred monuments we will enter the church located close to the Wenceslas Square(Czech: Václavské náměstí). It is the church of Virgin Mary of the Snow(Czech: Kostel Panny Marie Sněžné)) founded by the emperor Charles IV. in person. Let´s visit one of the highest sacred buildings – the coronation church and monasterial sanctuary of the Carmelites which hides inside one of the most monumental altar architectures in Prague.
Look into the past
As mentioned, the church was founded by the Emperor Charles IV. in 1347. The purpose of its actual foundation was very interesting. It was meant to be a future coronation church and monasterial sanctuary of the Carmelites.
Originally, a great construction project had been designed according to which the building was supposed to be 100 metres long and the height of the aisle was planned to reach 40 metres. However, the idea of such an extensive work was rejected as time went by and the only completed parts were the presbytery and monastery.
In the period of the Hussite Wars it was the place of work of the significant Hussite preacher Jan Želivský. Unfortunatelly the building was, like other sacred monuments, demaged due to the wars and the ravages of time and the object started to ruin gradually. After some time even the beautiful Gothic arch collapsed. The premises got a new owner after 1606 – the barefoot Franciscans, who started to reconstruct it again. The already mentioned Gothic arch was replaced by a Renaissance construction and the entrance additional building with a gallery was built, too. The 31,5 meters high church is one of the highest sacred constructions of Prague. The neighbouring monastery was renewed in the Baroque style and the remains of the Gothic brickwork were preserved in the Baroque chapels devoted to the Virgin Mary and John of Nepomuk
And what can be found inside?
In the beautiful interior of the church one of the Prague´s most monumental altar architectures is to be found which is unbelievable 29 metres high. And what are we actually talking about? About the early Baroque pillar altar with a monumental seven metres tall cross on which the statues of St. John and Virgin Mary are placed. Surprisingly, the author of this unique gem is unknown. The only fact the historians know is that it was built between 1649–1651.
ify;“>Do not forget to take a look at the Baroque painting by Václav Vavřinec Rainer on the side altar on the left: “ The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary“. There is a painting on the main altar which reminds of the legend of the origin of the unusual attribute of the Virgin Mary: „of the snow“.
The neighbouring garden
A garden was founded at the Franciscan monastery which was to serve for the domestic purposes. It is located just close to the church. In the Baroque period It served as a decorative park with a beautiful chapel in the middle. The German occupants built a fire suppression tank here in the WW2. Since 1950 the garden has been opened to the public completely and between 1989–1992 it was reconstructed.
The garden is performed in the Baroque style with a square pavilion in the middle and a herbal garden with a low fence. There´s a playground, too. The visitors will be enchanted by the beautiful hedge fence, roses, the sculptural fountain and benches on which they can relax.
Prague 1 – New Town(Czech: Praha 1 – Nové Město)
GPS: Loc: 50°4'58.691″N, 14°25'25.29″E
Metro/Subway – line A, B – Můstek(station) – Direction Jungmannovo náměstí
Tram: 6, 9, 18, 22, 53, 57, 58, 59 – Národní třída (from here take Národní ulice in the direction of the Jungmannovo náměstí)
Tram: 3, 9, 14, 24, 51, 52, 54, 55, 56, 58 – Wenceslas Square station (Czech: Václavské náměstí) (from here down the Wenceslas Square and at the end of the street on the left in the direction of the Jungmannovo náměstí)
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