Prague Minos Guide

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Church of the Virgin Mary under the Chain

The church of the Order of Maltese Knights
Significant photo
Info text

One of the oldest churches in Prague. It was established in 1158 by the Order of the Maltese Knights, together with monastery and hospital. In the first half of the 14th century, the original Romanesque basilica was rebuilt in Gothic style. However, only a chancel was built together with the unfinished towers in front of the church. While the church was being rebuilt, it was burned down by the Hussites led by Jan Žižka of Trocnov in 1420. Today´s appearance results from an early Baroque reconstruction carried out by the famous architect Carlo Lurago and started in the mid 17th century. The Baroque interior is dominated by a painting over the main

altar known as "Beheading of St. Barbara", made by Baroque master Karel Škréta.
There is more than one version explaining the origin of the church´s name: According to one, the name is connected to a statue of the Virgin Mary, which had a chain on her neck. Another one indicates a connection to the old Judith Bridge and its tower, which had a gate with a chain. However, the most probable version seems to be the one that refers to the chain that was drawn out from that part of the lesser town across the river all the way to the Old Town, so as to prevent ships that were en route to Prague from going through without paying the customs duty.

GPS: 50° 5′ 11.44″ N, 14° 24′ 21.43″ E

Kontaktní informace

Ulice Maltézské náměstí Město Praha 1


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