Once a collection of religious buildings, today the Clementinum house the National Library along with numerous chapels and concert halls. Check out the nightly classical music show in the Mirror chapel for a peak inside.
Located in the old town and covering quite a large area is the former Jesuit faculty, the Clementinum. It is the second largest building complex in Prague as it spreads out over five courtyards and includes St Salvator Church, St Clements Church, the Italian Chapel, the Mirror Chapel and other places.
I would have loved to seen the inside, only I ran out of time!
Tours are available, and from photo's I have seen, it looks pretty amazing inside.
The tour takes you to see the main sights, which are the Astronomical Tower which is 68 meters high, so you would have a good view of Prague. The Mirror Chapel is a one off - you won't find anything like it elsewhere! Lastly, the Baroque Library hall with fresco paintings is another interesting room.
CONCERT'S are held in the Mirror Chapel
1.2. – 31. 3. always from 5 pm
1.4. – 31.10. always from 6 pm
More information on the website
Sightseeing tours are available in Czech and English and begin at 10am
They are available
January, February, March: Mon – Sun 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
April - October: Mon – Sun 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
November, December: Mon – Sun 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Adult 220 CZK
1 child/student 140 CZK, children under 6: free
Two-in-one ticket: guided tour + concert = 650 CZK
The Klementinum is on Karlova the former Jesuit college is on the northside of the street. It is the national library which includes early English reformer John Wycliff, whose writings had enormous impact on the fourteenth century czech religious community. The main entrance is next to the church vs Kliment, which leads into some courtyards, parts of the buildings have been left intact and are now open to the public for viewing.
There is a guided tour of thirty minutes to view the original parts this can be combined with a classical concert in the mirrored chapel, which boasts fine acoustics.
Upstairs is the baroque library, a long room lined with leather tombs. At the centre of the Klementinum complex is the astronomical tower, it is the only place to record meteorological data since 1775.
If your scared of heights, cannot walk up very steep steps, this is not the tour for you.
Baroque Library Hall
The Baroque library hall was finished 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 triangular habitacles above the windows shelter some of the most distinguished figures of the Prague's Jesuit College, e.g. Petr Canisius, the founder of the Czech Jesuit Province; Arriaga, a philosopher; Edmund Campion, a theologian and martyr; Jiri Plachy, the professor who lead the students in their fight against the Swedes in 1648.
A number of geographical and celestial globes owe their existence almost entirely to the work of the Klementinum Jesuits. The latest inscription - "BIBLIOTHECA NATIONALIS" - placed by the director K. R. Ungar in 1782 on the balcony in the hall's frontispice attests the founding of the National Library.
Mirror Chapel, Baroque Library Hall, Astronomical Tower
daily 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. every hour
1 person - 190,- Kè
Students - 120,- Kè
The Clementinum is a massive religious complex from which the Inquisition of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries was conducted. The tradition of persecuting, torturing and killing religious minorities was later taken up with some zeal by the Jesuits who, in the sixteenth century, used it as their base for the persecution of Prague's Jews.
You will inevitably pass this austere building as you approach Charles Bridge from the Old Town.
There are plenty of places where you can climb towers in Prague - Old Town Hall, Bridge Tower, St Vutus Cathedral - to get great aerial views of the city. The Clementium Observatory Tower view, whilst maybe not as good as that of the Old Town Hall, gives a different angle of the rooftops and spires of Prague. Its easy to see up here why Prague is known as the "city of 100 spires".
A former Jesuit Church this place is a huge complex of buildings - a rival to Hradcany - of over 30 houses and 3 churches. After the Jesuits left in 1773 it became Prague's University Library and is today the National Library. Classical concerts are held here in the beautiful Chapel of Mirrors but the thing that caught my imagination was that in the complex there are 12 sundials to be spotted - some in out of the way places - well I managed to captaure one one the observatory tower with my new zoom :-))
The Baroque church of St. Salvator is the church of the Clementinum, a huge Jesuit college that now houses the national library.
During the tour of the Clementium you will see numerous objects associated with astronomy and perhaps more sundials!