Clementinum is home to one of the most beautiful libraries worldwide. The Clementinum building hosts not only the Czech National Library but also the Astronomical Tower, a Mirror Chapel, and a concert hall for musical performances and gatherings.
This stunning world-famous baroque library dates back to 1722 and can be found close to the Old Town Square and by the banks of the river Vltava. Once you enter the building, you will make your way towards the main hall, which leads to the library premises. This open space area is surrounded by books, bookshelves, historical relics, and various other ornaments.
As you walk down the hall, pay close attention to the details on the walls and the ceilings of the library. You will come across a picturesque room filled with bookshelves aligned all along the hall, mesmerizing paintings and artwork depicted on the walls. The details and decorations that are part of the library hall and on the bookshelves have been there since 1700. What is even more fascinating is that they have not been refurbished ever since.
Making your way down the library hall, you will notice not only books but also a dozen of handmade world globes. They are truly a piece of art. Amongst the globe collection, you will also find astronomical clocks that have been designed by a Jesuit astronomer, Jan Klein.
Moving onto the glorious celling area of the hall, once you enter the library hall, just stop and look up. You will see that the hall contains its own high ceiling balcony made from wood and gold, as well as artwork that belongs to Jan Hiebl. This talented German artist decided to make a unique masterpiece from his frescos by mixing science with religion to create art.
So why is this library so extraordinary? It is important to point out that the Clementinum library contains some of the oldest books in Europe, dating back to the 11th century. The Vysehrad Codex, which is a gospel book, is considered one of the most valuable scripts of Bohemia. Ever since 2012, its replica is exhibited at the library hall. Moreover, the Vysehrad Codex script is so precious that it has become the national cultural monument of Czechia.
When visiting the baroque library, I would strongly recommend getting a guided tour, which will take just under an hour. The tour will give you a full insight and show you all the secret gems and details of this charming library hall. The ticket to the Clementinum also includes a visit to the Astronomical Tower, which is a rather unique and historic piece of architecture, from which you can get a magnificent view of the old town, the Prague castle, and the mesmerizing Charles’ Bridge area.
If you want to stay closer to the Clementinum, Charles Apartments in Old Town is a homey place that you can book that is within walking distance (as well as having spectacular views over Prague). Another nearby accommodation is Golden Prague Rooms, which is a bit more upscale - yet still quite affordable for those on a budget. Or, if you want a fitting historical stay, the U Kocku hotel is housed in a protected Baroque palace.
Clementinum PragueMariánské nám. 190/5, Staré Město, 110 00 Praha-Praha 1, Czechia
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