St. Jilji Church in Prague is one of the most beautiful churches in the Old Town, set amongst the narrow streets and quaint old buildings that make up this area of the city. It is located just a few minutes walk from the Old Town Square
St. Jilji was founded in 1238 by Bishop Jan IV, then remodelled by Dominican monks between 1340-1370.
During the 14th century St. Jilji became the base for the religious reformer Milic of Kromeriz. Baroque elements were added in the mid-18th century, including the stuccoed interior by B. Spinetti, various ceiling frescoes by V.V. Reiner and an adjoining monastery.
Gothic from the outside, Baroque from within, St. Jilji is a historic landmark. The church is large, with intricately crafted high ceilings and ornate decorations.
Extensive restoration works, paid in part by visitors' contributions and receipts from evening classical concerts, allows us to admire the finer details and the vibrant colours once more.
The main altar is quite breath-taking, adorned with polished gold relics centred around an image of the crucifixion. There are marble spiral columns and fine wood-carvings throughout.
Another notable feature of St. Jilji are the four confession booths, carved in the 18th century by R. Prachnerem.
The St. Jilji organ dates from 1737 and has rare historical value, with Baroque wood-carvings by F.I. Weise. It is one of the biggest classical organs in Prague, with 3500 reed-pipes.
The unique acoustic quality of the organ is demonstrated perfectly during classical concerts, for it draws some of the finest organists in the country to perform here all year round.
As with all performances, it is wise to book in advance to ensure a seat at your chosen concert, knowing also that by doing so at St. Jilji, participants are contributing to the upkeep of this wonderful old church.
During the winter the interior of the church is heated, but it is advisable to wear warm clothing for the concerts.
For concert listings and to book tickets: Prague concerts.