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.
The arrival of the Jesuits in 1556 marked the beginning of the main construction period. From 1578 to 1726 a former Dominican Convent was replaced by a complex of baroque churches and college buildings, with famous architects and artists involved in their design and decoration.
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.
Note: the Baroque Library and Astronomical Tower are currently closed due to a legal dispute and for renovation. The Mirror Chapel is unaffected by this and remains open for classical concerts (see below).
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.
Classical Concerts 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.