Museums in Churches, Monasteries and Synagogues
List of churches, synagogues and monasteries used as museums; alphabetical list by district. Many museums in Prague are worth visiting, not only because of the art collection but also the building is attractive to see. Cathedrals, churches, synagogues and monasteries house treasures and are open as museums. Loreta, St Vitus Cathedral and the Maria Victoria Church are not only museums, but also places of pilgrimage. If you plan to visit more than one museum, consider buying the Prague Card. This card gives free entry or discounts to a large number of museums.
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Museums in Churches the Hradcany district
1. Loreta, Loretanske namesti 7, Hradcany, Prague
November to March 10.30-16.00, April to October 09.00-17.00
* The Baroque Church of the Nativity and a replica of the Holy House are surrounded by cloisters and chapels. The museum exhibits liturgical objects and votive gifts from the 16th to 18th centuries. The showpiece is the “Prague Sun”, a monstrance set with diamonds.
2. St Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, Third Courtyard, Hradcany, Prague
Open November to March 09.00-16.00, Sundays from 12.00 and April to October 09.00-17.00, Sundays from 12.00
* The cathedral is part of the Castle complex. St-Vitus is a Gothic cathedral, founded in 1344 but construction was not completed until 1929. The impressive interior contains the St. Wenceslas Chapel with the tomb of St. Wenceslas, the crypt where Czech kings were buried, and the treasury, where the crown jewels are kept.
3. Strahov Gallery , Strahovske Nadvoru 1, Hradcany, Prague
Daily 09.30-11.30 and 12.30-17.00
* The Strahov Gallery in the Strahov Monastery exhibits paintings from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century in chronological order. The collection includes: Rudolfine, Flemish, Italian and Central European painting. The showpiece is a Madonna and Child, also known as the Strahov Madonna.
Museums in Churches in the Stare Mesto district
1. Agnes Monastery, Anezska 12, Stare Mesto, Prague
April to September 10.00-22.00 October to March 10.00-16.00
* St. Agnes Monastery was founded in 1230 by the Premyslid princess Agnes of Bohemia and her brother King Wenceslas I. The monastery comprises several buildings. The tour of the museum charts the history of the individual parts of this uniquely preserved medieval monastery. All buildings are open to visit, including the Oratory of St. Agnes, the Shrine of the Saviour, and the Church of St. Francis, where the remains of King Wenceslas I are buried.
2. Clementinum, Marianske Namesti 5, Stare Mesto, Prague
Daily 10.00-17.00, guided tours only
* Highlights of the tour: library with frescoes and historical globes, the astronomical tower where meteorological data is collected and the meridian room. The showpiece of the library is the Vysehrad Codex, an illuminated gospel book from the eleventh century. Concerts are regularly given in the mirror chapel.
3. St Nicholas Church, Old Town Square, Stare Mesto, Prague
Monday to Saturday 10.00-16.00 Sunday 12.00-16.00
* This church should not be confused with the St Nicololas church in the Mala Strana district, a baroque church with an impressive interior with interesting lighting effects. What immediately noticable upon entering is the chandelier of Bohemian crystal, donated by the Russian Tsar when the church was an Orthodox church. Today, the Czechoslovak Hussite movement uses the church as a concert hall.
4. Tyn Church, Old Town Square, Stare Mesto, Prague
Monday to Saturday 10.00-12.00 and 15.00-17.00 Sunday 10.00-12.00
* An impressive Gothic building with a Baroque interior. The church is used as an art gallery with Gothic, Renaissance and Early Baroque works. The most interesting works of art are the altar paintings of Karel Škréta and the tomb of the astronomer Tycho Brahe. The organ dates from 1673 and is the oldest in Prague.
Museums in the Mala Strana district
1. Museum of the Infant Jesus of Prague, Mary Victoria Church, Karmelitska 9, Mala Strana, Prague
Monday to Saturday 09.30-17.00, Sunday 13.00-18.00
* A wax figure of the Infant Jesus who performed miracles. On religious feast days, the infant is dressed different clothes according to the liturgy. The infant is in the church on an altar and the wardrobe is exhibited in the museum in the crypt.
2. St Nicholas Church, Malostranske Namesti, Mala Strana, Prague
Monday to Sunday 09.00-17.00
* A baroque church with a dome of twenty meters in diameter. Concerts are given on the eighteenth-century organ all year round. The interior is richly decorated with golden cherubs, ceiling paintings and frescoes. The tower served as a lookout post in case of fires and the town crier would inform people about news and disasters. You can climb the tower for a splendid view of Prague.
Museums in the Nove Mesto district
1. Heydrich Terror Museum, Cyril and Methodus Church, Resslova 9, Nove Mesto, Prague
Tuesday to Sunday 09.00-17.00
* Exhibition in the crypt of the church in memory of the seven paratroopers and secret agents who hid here in 1942 after the failed assassination attempt on SS Commander Reinhard Heydrich.
2. Jerusalem of Jubilee Synagogue, Jerusalemska 7, Nove Mesto, Prague
April – December 10.00-17.00, closed on Saturdays
* The newest and largest synagogue of the Jewish community in Prague is an interesting example of Art Nouveau mixed with Moorish style. The interior is richly decorated in Art Nouveau style.
Museums in the Josefov district
1. Old New Synagogue, Maiselova 18, Josefov, Prague
Sunday to Thursday 09.00-18.00, in the winter months until 17.00, closed on Saturdays. Closing time on Friday is one hour before Sabbath.
* The Old New Synagogue is the oldest synagogue and place of worship in Central Europe. The early Gothic building dates from the end of the 13th century. The interior is impressive with chandeliers, pulpit and Torah ark. It is the main synagogue of the Jewish community in Prague.
2. Spanish Synagogue, Vezenska 1, Josefov, Prague
January to March 09.00-16.30, March to October 09.00-18.00, October to December 09.00-16.30
* The Spanish Synagogue is the most beautiful synagogue in Prague with an interior decorated with arabesques and Islamic motifs, which are also applied to the walls, doors and gallery balustrades. The permanent exhibition in the synagogue tells the history of the Jewish people in the Czech Republic over the past 200 years. In the evenings, the Spanish synagogue provides a wonderful setting for classical music concerts. Spanish synagogue is part of the Jewish Museum.