The 13th century St. Jilji Church in Prague is one of the most beautiful in the Old Town, set amongst the narrow streets and quaint 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 in 1340-1370, when it became the base of the religious reformer Milic of Kromeriz.
Gothic on the outside, Baroque within, St. Jilji is a large church, ornately decorated and with beautifully crafted high ceilings.
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. Throughout the church there are impressive marble spiral columns and intricate wood-carvings. And of note are the four confession booths, carved in the 18th century by R. Prachnerem.
Extensive restoration work allows us to admire the finer details and the vibrant colours of the church. This is paid for in part by visitors' contributions and receipts from classical concerts held at St. Jilji.
The magnificent organ at St. Jilji dates from 1737 and has rare historical value, with Baroque wood-carvings by F.I. Weise. It is the biggest classical organ 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 all year round.
The historical beauty of St. Jilji Church attracts film makers. Scenes from the film Amadeus, directed by Milos Forman, were filmed here.
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.