Churches, Cathedrals and Pilgrimage Sites

The Czech Republic is full of religious sites. Visit any small village and you will probably find a castle or a chateau, but you will most definitely find an ancient church or place of worship. The capital city of Prague boasts grand cathedrals, various pilgrimage sites, a few synagogues, small chapels and more.

  • Sedlec Ossuary | Czech Republic Attractions Sedlec Ossuary

    Located a short train ride away from Prague is the Sedlec Ossuary. In the Sedlec suburb of Kutna Hora you will find the Sedlec Ossuary, which from the exterior looks like a normal chapel in a village, however, the interior decorations are anything but normal. It is estimated that the Roman Catholic chapel houses from 40,000-70,000 skeletons, victims from the Black Plague. Some of the bones have been artistically arranged in the chapel to form a chandelier that contains every...

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  • Prague Baroque Architecture | Loreta The Loreta

    The Baroque Loreta in Prague was commisioned by Baroness Beligna Katherina von Lobkowicz in 1626 and was maintained by the Capuchins, an order connected with St. Francis of Assisi and his brotherhood. This gorgeous gem has been the site of numerous pilgrimages over the past centuries, and it is easy to understand why. The building was built to promote the legend of Santa Casa, or the house of the Virgin Mary, a copy decorated with original frescoes, sits in the...

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  • Prague | Vinohrady | Photo by Dolce Vita Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord

    This strange train station like church was built in 1932 and is one of the most unique structures in the city of Prague. Unlike the majority of churches in Prague, this one, although built in 1932, is modern in comparison with the hundred plus year old churches in Prague. The Slovenian architect Joze Plecnik was also responsible for some innovative additions to Prague Castle. The strange brick church on Jiřího z Poděbrad Square showcases a massive tower complete with a...

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  • St. Ludmila | Church | Vinohrady St. Ludmila

    Overlooking Peace Square, this imposing neo Gothic church, built from 1888 to 1893, is gorgeous with its massive twin towers pointed towards the heavens. The exterior of this neo Gothic church is impressive, but the interior is simply stunning, with its multi colored walls painted with bright reds, vivid teals and lovely golden decorations. The interior bears a colorful resemblance to the great basilica of St. Mary in Krakow, Poland. Famous artists and sculptors of the time were commissioned to...

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  • Prague's Old-New Synagogue Old-New Synagogue

    The oldest of Prague's Jewish Quarter sights, the Old-New Synagogue is the oldest surviving Synagogue in all of Europe, and is surrounded by history, mysteries and legends; its attic is purported to be the home of Prague's Golem, a creature created and animated by Rabbi Loew to protect the Jewish citizens of Prague, another legend claims that its foundations stones hail from the ruined Temple of Jerusalem and were loaned by angels on condition that they be returned when the...

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  • The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul Exterior | Prague Historicism The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul

    Perched imposingly atop the mystical Vysehrad fortress and impressively dominating the area is the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, a recognized landmark with its slender neo Gothic double spires. Construction of the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul started in the 11th century for the Czech nobility, the church was originally Romanesque. The beloved Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV had the structure rebuilt in the Gothic style in the 14th century, with a Baroque renovation following in...

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  • Emmaus Monastery | New Town Emmaus Monastery

    If the two twin spires rising in front of this Gothic structure seem strange, recall that they were added in the 1960s after a British and American firebomb destroyed a section of the building in 1945. The monastery dates back to 1372, when Charles IV requested a Slavonic Benedictine order in Prague, centuries of peace followed. During WWII the Gestapo captured the monastery and sent the monks to the Dachau concentration camp. After the war a small number of monks...

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  • Jubilee Synagogue | New Town | Exterior Jubilee Synagogue

    The youngest, dating from 1906, largest and most vibrant synagogue in Prague is the Jubilee Synagogue. Designed by Wilhelm Stiassny, and named in honor of the 50th anniversary celebration, or the silver jubilee, of the reign of Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria, the Jubilee Synagogue is a colorful mixture of Moorish revival design and Art Nouveau decor. The facade features ornate keyhole arches, a rose window, lovely Iberian red and white layers of stone, and colors galore, the synagogue...

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  • Attractions in the Czech Republic | Klatovy The Church of Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception and St. Ignatus in Klatovy

    Klatovy is a medium-sized Czech town with 22 thousand inhabitants located in the south western Czech Republic in the wonderful area of the Sumava Mountains, a natural peaceful escape for many Czechs as well as foreign visitors who want a rest from big city life. The former Jesuit Church of Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception and St. Ignatus is located in the center of Klatovy in the southwestern part of the main square and it is a prime example of Czech...

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  • Church of Our Lady of the Snows | New Town Church of Our Lady of the Snows

    The Gothic Church of Our Lady of the Snows, founded in 1397, is one of the grandest sights to behold in New Town. Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV planned for the Church to be the grandest and tallest in Prague, taller than St. Vitus even. You may notice when you enter that the proportions of the structure seem a bit off, it is higher than it is longer, as the plans of Charles IV were not exactly realized, if they...

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  • Strahov Monastery | Prague Sights | Castle District Strahov Monastery

    Perched high above the city of a thousand spires is the second oldest monastery in Prague, the Strahov Monastery, which dates back to the 12th century. A dominant gateway showcases the entrance to the monastery, which is made up of several buildings with the Church of Assumption of our Lady and the Church of St. Roch. The peaceful atmosphere makes Strahov Monastery the perfect place for an afternoon wander or a nap under an ancient tree. Strahov is famous for...

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  • Prague Gothic Architecture | St. Vitus St. Vitus

    The Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV commissioned the construction and design of St. Vitus to Frenchman Matthias of Arras in 1344 and after the passing of Matthias to Peter Parler in 1356. Matthias of Arras drew inspiration from French cathedrals, while Peter Parler wished to build a structure unlike any other he has witnessed. St. Vitus is a grand example of Gothic architecture in the city of Prague and yet another testimonial to the wonderful cultural legacy of Charles IV....

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  • The Church of Our Lady Victorious | Lesser Town Sights The Church of Our Lady of Victory

    The Church of Our Lady of Victory is the famous pilgrimage site of the Infant Jesus of Prague, and one of the oldest Baroque buildings in Prague, built for German Lutherans in 1613 probably by Giovanni Maria Filippi the court builder of the Emperor Rudolf II, and originally named the Church of the Holy Trinity. The Catholic order of Discalced Carmelites were awarded the church after the Battle of White Mountain (Bila Hora) in 1620, by Emperor Rudolf II. the...

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  • Church of St. James the Greater Church of St. James the Greater

    The Church of St. James the Greater (also Senior) and Minorite monastery are located opposite to the Ungelt entrance on Malá Štupartská Street in Prague's picturesque Old Town. Besides regular services the church, one of the five Prague minor basilicas, regularly hosts organ concerts. The Church of St. James the Greater was founded in 1232 by King Wenceslas I. In 1319, King John of Bohemia started the construction of a long basilica structure of three naves, and thanks him the...

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  • Prague Baroque Architecture | St. Nicolas St. Nicolas Church

    The giant green dome looming over Lesser Town Square belongs to the wondrous St. Nicolas, one of the finest examples of High Baroque architecture in Central Europe, this massive imposing dome and the Catholic church have continued to look over and protect the Lesser Town for centuries. Built by Christoph Dientzenhofer and his son Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer from 1704 to 1755 the architectural style was considered to be radical, hence the name the Radical Baroque of Bohemia. Both men were...

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  • Spanish Synagogue | Jewish Quarter | Exterior Spanish Synagogue

    The Spanish Synagogue is by far the most spectacular temple in the Jewish Quarter. It was inspired by the Alhambra in Spain, hence the title Spanish Synagogue. The Synagogue is stunning with an abundance of Moorish tile motifs of flowers and geometric patterns in brilliant reds, blues and greens with gold trim. The interior boasts color on the ceiling, walls, and stained glass windows.

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  • Bethlehem Chapel | Old Town | Exterior Bethlehem Chapel

    Bethlehem chapel was completed in 1394 and was the venue where Jan Hus, distinguished writer, thinker and philosopher, preached from 1402 to 1412 before he was burned at the stake in 1415; thus making Bethlehem Chapel the birthplace of the Hussite cause. In the 18th century the chapel was demolished. The ruins of the chapel were discovered in 1920, and It was rebuilt exactly the same (based on drawings, old documents, etc.) in the 1950s. Today it features the original...

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  • St. Tomas Church | Prague St. Tomáš in Malá Strana

    First dedicated in 1228, the Catholic church of Saint Tomáš, located in picturesque and timeless Malá Strana, has a long and illustrious history in the Czech Republic. Co-Consecrated as the Augustinian church of St. Tomáš and St. Augustine on May 2nd, 1316, by the Prince Bishop of Mainz and the Prince Bishop of Trier, this early structure was burnt to the ground on May 9th, 1420 during the Hussite Wars, was rebuilt, and again destroyed by fire in 1503 and...

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  • Church of St. Giles | Old Town, Prague The Church of St. Giles

    Popular among locals and foreigners, consecrated May 4th, 1371, replacing an earlier church from 1238, the Dominican Monastery and Roman Catholic Church of St. Giles is located in the heart of Prague's Old Town, and certainly plays its part, culturally speaking. Boasting a Gothic exterior, and Baroque interior, St. Giles is open to the public from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm daily, the Church of St. Giles hosts both Czech-speaking and Polish-speaking communities, as well as offering services in, is...

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  • Tyn Church | Old Town | Church Spires The Church of our Lady before Tyn

    This Gothic church from the mid 14th century is perhaps the second signature landmark in Old Town Square (after the Astronomical Clock). It was the main church during the time of the Hussites. The interior of the church, especially the altar, is one of the most elaborate ones in the Czech Republic; its centerpiece is the portrayal of the rise of Virgin Mary to Heaven. You many notice that the two signature towers are not identical; one of them is...

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  • Basilica of St. George | Romanesque Architecture The Basilica of St. George

    The Basilica of St. George is the finest example of Romanesque architecture remaining in the great city of Prague. The basilica was partially damaged by fire in 1142 and the main apse and twin steeples were added after. Although the facade of the basilica was renovated in the 17th century in the Baroque style, elements of the Romanesque still exist in the interior as well, results of a meticulous restoration between 1887 and 1908. The simple, yet monumental Romanesque interior...

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  • Facade Detail of St. Joseph St. Joseph Church in Mala Strana

    Built at the behest of Carmelite sisters and completed in 1692, surprisingly not much is known about this mysterious little church situated a stone's throw from the Charles Bridge in charming Mala Strana, or Lesser Town. Experts are unable to agree on the architect responsible for this little gem, which is rather unusual in Prague where many famous architects have showcased their talent over the centuries. Far more is known about the stunning art found at the church, including the...

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  • Cathedral of St. Lawrence on Petřín Hill in Prague Cathedral of St. Lawrence on Petřín Hill

    The principle church of the Old Catholic faith in the Czech Republic, the Cathedral of Saint Lawrence, called Sv. Vavřinec in Czech, is located on leafy green Petřín Hill, next to Petřín Lookout Tower and the Hunger Wall. Originally built in a Romanesque style, it was rebuilt later in the Baroque style by the prolific Prague architect K. I. Dientzenhofer. It is rumored that this Old Catholic Cathedral in Prague is located on a site of some importance for ancient...

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  • St. Michael's Church in Prague's Kinsky Gardens St. Michael's Church in the Kinský Gardens

    This small wooden jewel was physically relocated to Prague in 1929, to celebrate the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the annexation of Carpathian Ruthenia (the Subcarpathian region) into then-Czechoslovakia after WWI. Also known by its longer name of The Carpathian Church of St. Michael the Archangel, the entirely-wooden church was disassembled and moved to Prague from the village of Medvědovce near Mukačevo, situated on today's Ukrainian side of the Slovak- Hungarian- Ukrainian border area in the Carpathian Mountains, but...

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  • Svatá Dobrotivá | Pilgrimage Site Svatá Dobrotivá Church and Monastery

    Founded in 1262 by Lord Oldřich Zajíc of Valdek, the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary Monastery with its church dedicated to St. Benigna, called Svatá Dobrotivá in Czech, was the first Augustinian monastery in Bohemia, and marked the arrival of Augustinians in what is now the Czech Republic. The church is dedicated to, and bears the name of, Svatá Dobrotivá due to the fact that her relics rest in the church, providing yet more incentive for pilgrims traveling to the...

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