10 Amazing Churches in Prague
You’ve visited the Prague Castle, saw the Astronomical Clock, and walked across Charles Bridge. You can’t seem to get enough of the culture and history that Prague contains. What else is there to see? Luckily for you, Prague is home to some of the country’s most beautiful churches.
Your trip to Prague is coming up and you couldn’t be more excited. You’ve already planned the bars you’re going to hit, the sights you’ve been wanting to see, and the restaurants you have been dying to try. Sure, drinking cheap beer is an important part of your trip, but you also want to make sure to hit some of the famous cultural attractions.
Prague Castle is at the top of your list, along with Old Town Square and Astronomical Clock, but you have also heard wonderful things about the various churches scattered throughout this bustling city, with all the positive feedback about the astounding architecture, beautiful stained glass windows, and ethereal atmosphere, you have decided to try to see the best churches in the city during your vacation.
Don’t worry about trying to decipher the best ones for yourself, we’ve got that covered. We have compiled a list of ten amazing churches in Prague that we think you absolutely can not miss during your holiday in the Czech capital. Put on your walking shoes, grab your camera and map, and head out the door for a day of cultural learning and beautiful sights.
1) St. Nicholas’ Church in the Market PlaceFirst up, we have St. Nicholas’ Church on the Market Place in Mala Strana. The Baroque design, numerous paintings, statues, and high ceilings attract many visitors every year. This is one of three St. Nicholas churches in the country’s capital. The green copper roof makes it stand out against the skyline of red-roofed buildings, and is similar to the famous Sacre Coeur in Paris.
The tower in this church provides great views of the surrounding square, foot traffic down below, and the Vltava river bisecting the city in half. This 18th-century building might be the best example of the Baroque style in Prague, transforming from a formerly Gothic church to a Baroque stereotype, boasting a painted ceiling, overhead sculptures, massive columns, and oval spaces that provide an open-air type of feel.
Whenever you mention churches in Prague, locals and tour-guides alike are sure to mention this number one example of the Baroque style, causing it to be one of the most famous churches in the city and country.
2) Church of Our Lady VictoriousNext on our list, Church of Our Lady Victorious is also located in the Lesser Town, also known as Mala Strana, right near the Schonborn Garden. You’ll be visiting this church right next to the U.S. Embassy in Prague, and can take a trip to the gardens before entering the first baroque church built in the city.
Built in the 17th century, the architecture and design are characterized by smooth marble and gold. One of the most famous features of this church is the statue called “Infant Jesus of Prague.”
This 16th-century depiction of Jesus was originally from Spain, and donated to the church by the 1st Princess Lobkowicz, a Czech noble during the 16th and 17th centuries. This statue typically has two crowns and around 45 robes that are changed about 10 times a year, according to the liturgical year.
Check out this church and its famous statue after St. Nicholas’, since they’re both in the same part of town.
3) St. Vitus Cathedral
For number three on our list of churches to visit, we’ll name one of the most famous ones – St. Vitus Cathedral. If you’re planning to visit Prague Castle, you will have no problem with finding this beautiful building.
This cathedral is located within the castle complex, hidden away behind the high castle walls. Once you make the trek up the hill to the castle entrance, and after taking in the breathtaking views, you can wander around the castle complex, wandering around the streets and finding the Gothic masterpiece.
The construction of this cathedral began in the mid-14th-century and took approximately 500 years to complete. Talk about patience. This cathedral is typically considered a spiritual symbol of the city, and many coronations of Czech kings and queens have happened here.
The tower here, called the Great South Tower of the Cathedral, is 90 meters tall and provides some of the best views of the city. Head here for a spiritual centerpiece of Prague – and for an unbeatable bird’s eye view.
4) Cathedral of Saints Cyril and MethodiusFor a church with some interesting history, head to the Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius. Walking into this cathedral you might think this is the oldest holy site in the city, with the underground crypts and dimly-lit interior.
Surprisingly, this is one of the youngest churches in the town, having been built in the mid 19th century. For war-aficionados, this church has a unique World War II connection.
In 1942, two Czech paratroopers were given orders to assassinate a Nazi overseer in the Bohemian state. Those who were involved in this scheme fled to seek protection in this cathedral, and ended up committing suicide when the Nazis found out their hiding spot.
Not only did these men lose their lives, but the village of Lidice was collateral damage as well. Plaques commemorating these people and the tragic events can be found within the walls of the crypts.
5) Church of Our Lady Before Týn
Ringing in number five, we have one of the most recognizable churches in the city – the Church of Our Lady Before Týn. The spires jutting out of the skyline represent femininity and masculinity, a clear characteristic of the Gothic-style architecture that accurately distinguishes this building from others.
Karel Škréta, a Czech Baroque painter who was famous for his portraits, various altarpieces and church decorations, painted a beautiful piece of the Virgin Mary above the altar here.
The main church of the Old Town since the 14th century, this Gothic church features the famous two towers, four Gothic portals, and various turrets. Inside the church, you’ll find mainly Baroque furniture, a Gothic altar, a stone pulpit, and carved tombstones.
6) St. Jilji ChurchCloseby to the previous mention, St. Jilji Church, also known as St. Giles’ Church, is hidden away on a narrow street in the Old town district. This 14th-century church is lesser-known than many others on this list, and help to preserve a mysterious atmosphere that makes the church that much more beautiful.
The detailed interior shows the talented craftsmanship and creates an aura that is perfect for the various concerts that are held here. A unique fact about this church is the donation of this church to the Dominican order, who has since served here and resided in the monastery. With gold embellishments and the high painted-ceilings, this church is a must-see when in Prague.
7) St. Martin in the WallAnother small church, St. Martin in the Wall is an Old Town favorite. This well-kept Romanesque church began construction in the 12th-century, but has since been changed to a Gothic style in the 14th century.
The south side is connected to the Castle wall, providing the namesake of ‘in the Wall.’ Up until 1905, this church was used for housing and shops, but has now been re-opened as a church, showing off the Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architecture all combined into one, small stone building.
Despite not being as fancy and grand as some of the bigger and flashier churches on this list, the unpretentiousness is what makes this church special.
8) St. George’s BasilicaBack to the Prague Castle complex, St. Vitus’ isn’t the only church you’ll find within the castle walls. St. George’s Basilica is one of the oldest churches in the entire country, and would be a shame not to visit.
A Romanesque-style church featuring Baroque elements, this church contains various tombs, with some being of ancient rulers of the Czech Republic. The oldest surviving church building within the complex, it was founded in the year 920 by Vratislaus I of Bohemia – who is now buried here. Talk about spooky.
The Romanesque appearance, consisting of the apse and two steeples, were constructed after the 12th-century, post-fire. The chapel dedicated to St. Ludmila was added in the early 13th-century, and the Baroque Chapel of St. John Nepomuk was added multiple decades later in the 18th-century.
After a period of destruction in the late 19th century by foreign troops, the Romanesque-style was recreated in the late 20th century.
9) St. Clement’s CathedralIf you’re a fan of the piano, or just music in general really, head to St. Clement’s Cathedral, where the organ is one of the most beautiful ones in the country. The details of the organ, the pillars surrounding this instrument, and the ceiling sculptures around the organ are exquisite.
This Baroque church was built in the 18th century and currently operates as a Greek Orthodox Church. this building was constructed on top of a former Gothic church in the 15th century, featuring a single aisle with opulent decorations and paintings. St. Clement’s makes up one of the two churches that from the Klementium in the Old Town of Prague. with the other church being our last on this list.
Luckily for the music lovers, this church features concerts throughout the year. The acoustics here are perfect for live music, and the concerts make use of the 18th-century Baroque organ – not only an exquisite decoration, but an amazing instrument as well.
10) St. Salvator ChurchA church that almost every Prague visitor is bound to pass on foot, St. Salvator Church is located right at the end of the famous Charles Bridge, the walkway between Mala Strana and Old Town. the former largest residence for Jesuits, this is one of the earliest Baroque remnants in the city.
Boasting not one, but two organs, which have been recently restored, this is another venue that hosts concerts throughout the year. With a beautiful exterior and convenient location, this is a church you absolutely can’t miss.
The entrance to this stunning church is free, encouraging anyone to come inside and see just how beautiful it really is.
If you don’t mind spending a few dollars, the concerts here aren’t free – but the experience is priceless. There’s numerous classical concerts here throughout the year, and range from excerpts from Smetana to Bach. Head here to check out a full orchestra, or a smaller string ensemble. The acoustics of the church enhances the already-beautiful sounds emitting from the various instruments.
Whether you want to visit an underground crypt with some serious history or head to the top of a church tower for some unmissable views, Prague has many cathedrals and churches to keep you exploring for days to come.
Prague is home to many cultural attractions which are sure to keep you busy for your whole stay. The castle is mesmerizing, the beer is flowing, and the people are friendly. The historical architecture that makes the city and skyline so beautiful includes the numerous churches throughout the city, both in the Old Town and Mala Strana.
Wander down any street in Prague and you’ll only be a few minutes walk away from a breathtaking cathedral or church. With all of the options on our list being fairly close to the city center, you should have no problem seeing all of these architecturally-stunning churches in person.