13.12.2016

The church of Our Lady before Týn in the Old Town of Prague

 

 

In the very heart of Prague, in left hand side of the river Vltava there is located one of the most significant monuments not only within the Old Town, but in entire metropolis. It is the parish church of Our Lady before Týn. Týn/týniště was medieval market place and kind of custom house in vicinity of the church. Together with the opposite Old Town city hall tower create together altitudinal dominants of the square. The first church was standing here already in 12th Century, later on replaced by gothic construction. The remains of both of shrines are still preserved under nowadays church.

The church of Our Lady before Týn was founded by the emperor Charles IV in the middle of 14th Century, built in high gothic style. A number of structural elements as western front window or norther portal with famous tympanum refer to the workshop of Peter Parler - the builder of St. Vitus cathedral. During 15th and 16th centuries the shrine was in hands of non-Catholic churches as Hussites, Lutherans or Calvinists. After 1415   services here were served as Communion under both kinds. Starting from year 1626 the church passed again into the hands of Catholics and the shrine obtained 2,7m tall statue of Virgin Mary made from White marble, which is placed in western front of the church. The choir with the organ was built by Domenico Orsi. Unfortunately in the year 1679 the church was hit by the fire and the vaulting of the main nave was seriously damaged. The church represents the best choice of especially baroque arts whether painting, sculpture or carvery and many other crafts. The main altar and couple of other pictures were accomplished by Karel Škréta.

In the church there are buried about 600 bodies, the most famous of them probably Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. The church is open except for Mondays every day until 5:00pm. They take place here regular services. Especially Praguers look forward every year to attend Ryba´s Christmas Eve´s mass (Jan Jakub Ryba *1765 - 1815) sung by the soloists of National Theatre. Also people who usually do not come for services take part in today.