Prague is full of churches which are an important part of the Czech capital’s architecture. Whether you’re a religious person or not, you should incorporate them in your travel itinerary to get a full view on the architecture of Prague. Here are the 10 most beautiful churches in Prague (in our opinion).
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St. Giles’ Church/Kostel sv. Jiljí
St. Giles’ Church in the Old Town of Prague is a complex of a monastery and church from the first half of the 14th century. There were many re-constructions according to the actual prevalent religious beliefs in the country or after a burn-down and the final appearance is the one of a four-wing monastery directed by the Dominican Order.
St. Salvator Church/Kostel Nejsvětějšího Salvátora
In Prague’s Old Town, just at the Charles Bridge there’s the St. Salvator Church , a part of the Clementinum. It used to be the Jezuit headquarters in Bohemia and the composer Jakub Jan Ryba used to play the church organ in the 1780s.
The exterior of the church is decorated with 14 sandstone statues of saints by Jan Jiří Bendl (2nd half of the 17th century) and the interior marble pavement comes from the workshop of Kristina Kortesiová (1660).
St. George’s Basilica/Bazilika svatého Jiří
This basilica and Přemyslid-dynasty burial site is located at the Prague Castle and it was founded in 920! It burnt down in 1142 and later in the 14th century it was rebuilt in Gothic style. The basilica was devastated during the Hussite wars and rebuilt during the reign of Sigismund of Luxembourg only to burn down again in 1541. The final reconstruction of the basilica was made at the turn of the 19th and 20th century.
The basilica is very easy to recognize thanks to its Baroque facade in red color and if you step in you shouldn’t miss the Romanesque part of the interior.
St. Vitus Cathedral/Katedrála sv. Víta
St. Vitus Cathedral is a part of the Prague Castle complex. It has been the headquarters of the Prague diocese since the 10th century but the building itself is older, from around 930. The southern tower of the cathedral is the third tallest Czech church tower (96,6 m) and like many other churches also the St. Vitus Cathedral underwent many changes during the years of its existence. The construction of the three-nave Gothic part of the cathedral was interrupted by the Hussite wars and it was resumed and finished 500 years later! The cathedral features many art sights, precious interiors, mosaics…
Church of Our Lady Victorious/
You might have heard this church referred to as the Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague. It’s because the 16th-century statue of Spanish origin found its home here and it’s a widely known and visited artefact.
The church itself is near the Petřín tower and you might visit it during a walk in Prague’s Lesser Town (Malá Strana).
Church of Our Lady Before Týn/Chrám Matky Boží před Týnem
To see this church you have to go to Prague’s Old Town close to the Old Town Square. It was built between the 14th and 16th century and it’s one of the most artistically significant churches in Prague, both for its architecture, interior and furniture. It’s easily recognizable for the two 80-meter-high towers and around the spire of each there are two layers of four more spires.
There’s a legend tied to this church. It tells the story of a small bell in the church’s bell tower. There was a lady who strangled her maid because she prayed to the sound of the church bells instead of helping her lady getting dressed. Because of the lady’s social status the court cleared her of all charges but every time the bells rang the lady’s conscience was reminded of her horrible deed. She had a small bell cast in memory of her maid, then she gave all her belongings to the poor and became a nun order.
Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius/Chrám svatých Cyrila a Metoděje
This is one of the younger Prague churches. It was built in the 1830s as a Baroque Roman-Catholic church and at the present it is an Orthodox church. It played an important part in the history of Czechoslovakia because it was the last stand of the agents who performed the assassination of the SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich (Operation Anthropoid). There is a museum in the church crypt dedicated to them as national heroes.
Church of St. Martin in the Wall/
Kostel svatého Martina ve zdi
Another beautiful church in the Old Town of Prague. It was built in the second half of the 12th century and at the present it’s used by the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren.
Basilica of St. Peter and Paul/Bazilika svatého Petra a Pavla
The Basicil of St. Peter and Paul on Vyšehrad was built between the 14th and 19th century. As is quite usual, there were previous buildings. On the turn of the 19th and 20th century the basilica was radically rebuilt in Gothic style.
On the west side the building features two monumental towers which are often a dominant of the Prague panorama.
The cemetery next to the basilica is the final resting place of many significant Czechs.
St. Nicolas Church/Kostel sv. Mikuláše
Another Lesser Town church, the St. Nicolas Church is a building from the 18th century on a place of former Gothic church. It’s sometimes considered the most important Baroque building in Prague because it’s monumentality and complex architecture.
In the 20th century the bell tower used to serve as observation post of the communist police called Státní bezpečnost (StB). It was a strategic point of observing the embassy of the USA and former Yugoslavia and the access way to the embassy of Western Germany.