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Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, Prague, Czech Republic

Church of Our Lady Before Týn, Prague, Czech Republic

The most beautiful church in Prague is located on the Old Town Square. It was built during two long centuries - from the 14th to the early 16th. Church of Our Lady before Týn (Kostel Panny Marie před Týnem), also famous as Týn Church, got its name from the word "týn", which was signifying a shelter for strangers. Probably the church got this name, because it was located near the hospital for the foreign merchants. In the 11th century a small church was standing on the site which was rebuilt in the 13th century in early Gothic style, and century later, the contemporary Týn Church was founded.

Today we can only guess about the architect of the church. It is believed that famous master Petr Parléř worked on the construction of the building. The 28 meters high front window of the building with its lace decorations is testifying about the Parléř’s involvement in its construction.

In the middle of the Týn Church’s construction process unrests began in the country. For a while the church was under the control of the Hussites - Czech reformist and revolutionary religious movement. In 1437 the wood, which was supposed to be used for construction of the church’s roof, was used to make gibbets for the last Hussite military leader and his entourage. Later, for the manufacture of roof was used the wood, which was supposed to become the stands of Ladislav Pohrobek’s wedding, because the king died on the eve of his wedding. In 1679 the church was damaged due to lightning and fire. During the restoration, made in the late 17th century, baroque elements were added to the decorations of the church.

Today Týn Church is a three-aisled basilica, which captures ones eye from afar thanks to its Gothic beauty. This is an elegant building with two nearly identical towers. Despite their visual similarity, the width and the height of the towers are different. Height of the towers is approximately 80 meters. South Tower is one meter higher than the northern and symbolizes Adam, while the north one - Eve. The towers have sharp spires which are also decorated with small spires of the same shape. The church has 19 altars. The Týn Church’s organ is the oldest in Prague. It was made more than three and a half centuries ago by famous German master Mundt.

Týn church with its medieval spirit is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in Prague.

By Anna Pambukhchyan,


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