Place photography, Krizovnicka street-Old Town-Prague-1
The Clementinum (Klementinum) is a historical complex of Baroque buildings covering 20,000 square metres.
Its beginnings are associated with the arrival of Jesuits (1556) who, at the site of a Dominican monastery, commence building a complex of religious and school buildings. The main construction period of Klementinum, which gave its Baroque appearance, ran from 1578 to 1726.
The complex generally became a vast library in the 1700s, and since 1990, it has been the home of the National Library of the Czech Republic.
Highlights of the complex include...
Baroque Library Hall
Built in 1722. Its appearance and arrangement - for example the labels on library bookcases - survive intact. Thus it provides us with an example of the setting of an authentic Baroque library. The books in this hall constitute a collection of printed theological literature written in all languages except Czech, gathered as they were arriving at the Klementinum from 1600 until recent times. The books with whitened backs and red marks have been here all along since the Jesuit period. The ceiling decoration, created by Jan Hiebl, symbolizes the antique wisdom and learning as the basis which leads to Biblical prophets and later to Christian teachings.
The chapel consecrated to the Annunciation of our Lady was built after 1720. Its harmonious decoration - where the marbled walls and floors are well-matched with its gilded stucco ornamentation, with parget colours and ceiling frescoes, with the final touch of a mirror-decorated ceiling - make it a unique sight. The fresco was created by Jan Hiebl, each of the ceiling bands illustrates a verse of the Hail Mary prayer. The mural paintings with themes from the life of Virgin Mary were created by Vaclav Vavrinec Reiner. Many concerts are held in the The Mirror Chapel.
Astronomical Tower is 68 meters high presenting a wonderful view of the historical center of Prague. The Tower was erected together with the completion of the Baroque library and of the Mirror Chapel. The tower is crowned with a statue of a Atlas holding the celestial sphere on his shoulders. The tower was used for astronomical observation till the 1930s. In 1938 the astronomers moved out of Prague to a new observatory in Ondrejov.
The Astronomical Tower, Mirror Chapel and Baroque Library Hall are only open to the public by taking one of the hourly yours. (Although if you go to one of the many concerts then you will get to see the Mirror Chapel without the tour!)
Also, part of the Clementinum are several Churches & Chapels including the former 17th century Jesuit Church, the Church of the Holy Saviour (Kostel svatého Salvátora).