The Church of our Lady before Tyn is an impressive Gothic cathedral. It is located in the Old Town Square, its towers looming dramatically above the smaller buildings.
The church is Prague's most important gothic sanctuary and is a very impressive sight - even more so at night when it is flood lit. I kept dragging Alex back in the evenings....trying to get the perfect photo.
The two prominent spires are not symmetrical...apparently they represent both the feminine and masculine sides of the world.
The Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, or Tyn Church, (Týnský Chrám) dominates one side of the Old Town Square. The two spires of this powerful looking Gothic church (with a Baroque interior) can be seen from all over Prague.
Tyn Church is impressive by day, striking by night, lit up against the dark night sky. Take a close look at the two spires. They are not symmetrical. This is characteristic of the gothic architecture of the time and is a representation of both the masculine and feminine sides of the world.
Here is another view of Our Lady Before Tyn. I took this photo from the top of the Old Town Tower. Jan Hus' followers were responsible for the building of Our Lady Before Tyn. It was built in the 15th century. It has several names that it is recognized by: Our Lady Before Tyn, The Church of the Virgin Mary before Tyn. The Tyn Church. The church itself played a vital role in the reformation in Bohemia. It was the most important church of the Hussites in the 16th century. In the evenings the entire church has lights shining on it giving it almost an enchanted glow. I believe I was drawn to it as many times in the evening as I was during the day light hours.
For me, the bristling Gothic spires of the Church of Our Lady before Tyn epitomise the Prague skyline and probably served to inspire many a Disney castle!
There has been a church on this site since the 12th century, but the original Romanesque structure was rebuilt in the Gothic style in the 14th century. The Gothic interior of the church was later remodelled in a Baroque style - a pity in my opinion, but then I have an allergic reaction to Baroque interiors!
I have always been confused by the 'before Tyn' part of the church's name and have yet to find a conclusive explanation. The closest that I have got is to a reference which suggests that the word 'tyn' is derived from the old Czech work 'tejn', which means an enclosed or fortified place - maybe a reference to the main square?
Unfortunately the facade of this church has been obscured by later buildings which were constructed immediately in front of the church, and usually all you can see are the iconic towers rising above the surrounding buildings. The best viewpoint from which to appreciate the church is from the top of the Old Town Hall, which provides a less obscured view.
On a more positive note, I was fascinated to find that the church is the last resting place of Tycho Brahe, the Danish court astronomer to Emperor Rudolph II. Brahe is much celebrated for his astronomical achievements (especially his work on comets which helped to demolish the theory of celestial spheres) but for me, his major claim to fame has always been that he lost part of his nose during a duel, and wore a prosthetic nose for the rest of his life which he stuck on with paste! There are conflicting stories about what his nose was made of - some accounts mention silver or gold, and some suggest that the one he used for everyday wear was made of copper - you have got to love a man with a wardrobe of noses for every occasion! He also apparently had a pet elk which died as a result of falling down a flight of stairs after a surfeit of beer ... sounds like an eccentric after my own heart!
The beautiful twin towers of this fourteenth century, Gothic church dominate the Old Town Square. It was the main church used by the Hussites in the 15th century and then, in complete contrast, the Jesuits in the 17th century.
This dominant Old Town landmark towers over one side of the Old Town Square and its towers are visible from all over Prague. A church and hospital were present on this site as early as 1135. It became a parish church in the 13th Century and was markedly enlarged over the next 100 years (although none of the orginal church remains today). It was not completed until the 16th Century. During the reformation it was the main church and a national symbol for the Hussites. After the slaughter of the "heretics", Jesuits took over the church and placed a 10 foot statue of the Madonna between the towers. The access today is from a side street behind a restaurant as pictured, and the church is frequently closed to tourists - there is apparently a great deal of interest within including the tomb of Tycho Brahe (who died of mercury poisoning, not a ruptured bladder), but every time we visited the doors were closed.
Of interest is the asymmetry of the towers - a classic Gothic conceit was to make one tower larger than the other for the strength of men over women.
As the images indicate, the church is obscured largely from ground level on the Square by another building, so only the towers are visible, towering over the whole area. In the fourth image, the illuminated church towers over the nighttime square. In the last - anywhere you look up, here from the Ungelt court, the spires are there.
I had seen many pictures of this church while doing my research for the trip to Prague. However I was not prepared for its over powering presence. I thought it would be just another of many beautiful churches I have seen while traveling. But from my arrival until the time I left this church kept haunting me. I found it so much more beautiful than any pictures had revealed. And each day I kept finding myself drawn within its shadows. I have many pictures of Our Lady Before Tyn. I think I must have taken pictures of it each day. And I kept telling myself "You already have pictures of this church. Move on." But instead I returned everyday to view it once more.
Towering over Old Town Square is OUR LADY BEFORE TYN or Tyn Cathedral. The Church was started in the latter 14th century and took the next few centuries to complete. With its 80 meter high spires, Tyn Cathedral is believed to be the most impressive example of Gothic architecture in Prague.
The first thing that came across my mind when I first cast my eyes on its impressive spires was,....it was like looking at a medieval version of Sleeping Beauty's castle :-)
The gray stone towers of this church dominates the eastern skyline of Staromestske Namesti or Old Town Square. It was built in 1365 and completed in 1457.
The spires of Our Lady before Tyn dominate the old town as much as St Nicholas dominates Mala Strana. Its rarely open, apart from services but the best view of the exterior is from the Town Hall Tower and here you get a good glimpse of its "Walt Disney" style spires and turrets.
This Gothic church was built in 1365 on the site of an earlier Romanesque church. Its magnificent multiple steeples are 80m high and dominate the Old Town Square. Between the early 15th century and the year of 1620 it was the main Hussite church in Prague. A beautiful entrance portal decorated with scenes of Christ's passion and a huge Rococo altar on the northern wall are its most striking features. Right of the altar there is a tomb of the Danish astronomer Tycho de Brahe who worked at the court of the Emperor Rudolph II. This church has a grand-sounding pipe organ and occasionally, it is a concert venue.
This church is on one side of the Old Town Square (it is opposite the Old Town Hall). It’s pretty hard to miss, but unlike the Hus Memorial, I mean this in a nice way. The two main Gothic Steeples can be seen from all over Prague, and it provides an easy landmark as their shape is quite distinctive.
Sitting inbetween the two steeples can be seen a solid gold effigy of the Madonna (or Virgin Mary). This is clearer in my second picture. Apparently this Golden Madonna was originally a Golden Chalice (a symbol for the Hussite derived Utraquist movement). When the Hussites lost control the chalice was melted down and turned into the Madonna we see today.
This church rises up over Tyn School on Old Town Square. It is an early gothic design and was built between the middle of the 14th century and the arly 16th century. To gain access you walk up a small alleyway at the side.
I liked this church very much. In fact the whole Old Town Square is great. One distinctive feature, beside of course the pointed roof, is the fact that the lower part main facade is hidden from one's eyes behing some new 'italian style' buildings.
The U Matky Bozi Pred Tynem (original czech name) was built in 1365, has 80 meter tall towers, and the whole interior is gothic style dating from the 15th century.
The interior of the Church of ST. Mary of Tyn has got elaborate Baroque decorations. Very beautiful it is the Gothic pulpit made in the fifteenth century. The Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe is buried next to the choir.