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. The church 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 this period it also became the base of the religious reformer Milic of Kromeriz.
Gothic on the outside, Baroque within, St. Jilji is a large church with intricately crafted high ceilings and ornate decorations. The Baroque elements added during the 18th century include the stuccoed interior by B. Spinetti and ceiling frescoes by V.V. Reiner.
The main altar is breath-taking, adorned with polished gold relics centred around an image of the crucifixion. There are also impressive marble spiral columns and intricate wood-carvings throughout the church.
A notable feature of St. Jilji are the four confession booths, carved in the 18th century by R. Prachnerem.
Extensive restoration works, paid in part by visitors' contributions and receipts from the evening classical concerts, allow us to admire the finer details and the vibrant colours of the church once more.
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 during classical concerts, which draw some of the finest organists in the country to perform at all year round.
If you wish to attend a concert, it is wise to book in advance - in the knowledge that by doing so you are contributing to the upkeep of this wonderful old church (even the benches you sit on date from around 1686).
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.