Founded in 1232, the Klementinum in Prague is the largest and most historic complex of buildings in the Old Town. It covers an area of over two hectares close to the Vltava River
, near Charles Bridge
The Klementinum (Clementinum) has undergone a rich architectural evolution. Since the Middle Ages many of Europe's great astronomers, scientists, philosophers and musicians have studied and worked here, influencing the development of its wonderful array of buildings.
Major buildings in the Klementinum
-Mirror Chapel: a truly beautiful and unique chapel built in 1724, with extensive frescos and carvings. Houses two 18th century organs, one played by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on his visits to the Klementinum.
- Baroque Library Hall: stunning home of the Czech National Library, housing 20,000 books from the early 17th century onwards. The hall is decorated with magnificent ceiling frescoes, and remains unaltered since the 18th century.
- Astronomical Tower: 172 steps lead to the top of the tower for 360° views over Prague. A lift operates only part of the way, so not for visitors with walking difficulties.
On the 2nd floor of the tower is the Meridian Hall, which was designed to determine noon.
Churches in the Klementinum
St. Salvator Church and St. Clement's Cathedral form part of the outer wall of the Klementinum, and feature some of the most important Baroque architecture in Prague.
Two ways to visit the Klementinum:
1. Guided Tour
Guided tours of the Klementinum, which include the Baroque Library Hall and the Astronomical Tower, run every half an hour from 10:00-16:30 and last 45-60 minutes (the Mirror Chapel is not included, as it is reserved for classical concerts - see below).
To take the tour, there is no need to pre-book. Price: 220czk.
(note for 2017: the guided tour is currently suspended for renovation works - concerts in the Mirror Chapel are unaffected.)
2. Classical Concert in the Mirror Chapel
Classical concerts are held in the historic Mirror Chapel. The 18th century organs are played during performances. The concerts are popular and tickets are limited, so advance booking is required.
Listings and tickets: Book Concerts.