The Clementinum, Klementinum in Czech, is the second largest architectural complex in Prague after the Prague Castle.
The buildings hosted a Jesuit college until the eighteenth century and it then became part of Charles University. It currently houses the National Library of the Czech Republic.
For over two centuries the Clementinum has housed the Czech National Library. It also offers organ and classical music concerts. The site where the Clementinum is currently located was home to the Saint Clement chapel, founded during the eleventh century. In 1232, the Dominicans occupied the church and built a monastery on the same grounds. The Jesuits were invited to come to Prague in 1556 by the Emperor Ferdinand I. They soon established themselves in the Old Town, transforming and expanding the Dominican monastery and the chapel into a Jesuit college.
Guided tours of the Clementinum
Visitors will discover the Baroque library hall, Meridian hall and the Astronomical tower during a guided tour of the complex. If there is no previous event taking place in the Mirror Chapel, you will also get to see this impressive chapel.
Baroque library hall
With over 20,000 books, frescos and geographical and astronomical globes in a dimly lit hall, the Baroque library will transport you to the eighteenth century, imagining all those that have passed through this library.
Located in the Astronomical tower, the Meridian hall was used to determine noon thanks to a small ray of light that came through a hole in the wall at the top of the room. It was then signalled to the locals by means of a flag. Here, visitors will also discover original scientific equipment used throughout the centuries.
Since the Astronomical tower was built at 223 ft (68 m), it had been used for astronomical studies. Since the second half of the eighteenth century, it was used by scientists such as Joseph Stepling, who founded the observatory in the tower for astronomical and meteorological measurements. The tower offers a 360° view of the historic centre.
Before climbing to the top of the tower, you will visit the Meridian Hall.
Built in 1724, Mirror chapel has been given this name due to its mirror-decorated ceiling and mural paintings. It also houses an organ from the eighteenth century that was played by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart when he visited the Clementinum.
Is the guided tour worth doing?
The 45-minute guided tour might seem a little long, but it is definitely worth doing. Visitors will explore the most beautiful and surprising parts of the complex, and finally reach the top of the Astronomical tower for a stunning view of Prague’s spires and skyline.
January – February: 10 am – 4:30 pm
March – October: 10 am – 6 pm
November – December: 10 am – 5 pm
Guided tours in English every day (including weekends and public holidays) every 30 minutes. The first tour is at 10 am.
Guided Tour: Kč 300 (US$ 13.60)
Children and Students: Kč 200 (US$ 9.10)
Children under 6: Free
Prague card offers a 25% discount on the full admission
Old Jewish Cemetery (286 m) Prague Astronomical Clock (304 m) Josefov (312 m) Old Town Square (331 m) Staré Město (351 m)