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Lesser town - Prague 1 Category: Church towers

Church of the Virgin Mary Victorious in Lesser Town

GPS: 50°5'8.16"N, 14°24'11.88"E

The church was built in 1611-1613 by German Lutherans and originally it was consecrated to the Holly Trinity. The single-aisle building had its facia on the west side towards the Petřín hill. Roughly two years after the battle at Bílá Hora the German Lutherans were banished from Prague. Afterwards, the church was closed in 1622.

The church was given to the Order of White Friars the Barefooted by Ferdinand II in 1624. The new owners then consecrated this sanctuary to the Virgin Mary Victorious. Besides the church reconstruction, the white friars also built a new monastery. The current facia of the church was originated in 1636-1644. The high altar is located at the west side of this early-baroque church. The tower on the south side of the presbytery was built in 1699.

The church is also known as “U Jezulátka” (at Infant Jesus). Countess Polyxena from Lobkovic donated to the church a 45cm tall statuette of the Infant Jesus. This statuette has been piously worshipped for several centuries after. Prague’s Infant Jesus is being worshipped around the whole wide world especially in Spain, in Latin American countries, in Japan and other places.

The monastery of the White Friars was closed down by the emperor Josef II in 1784. After that, the church of the Virgin Mary Victorious became a parish church. Originally the church was supposed to have two steeples symmetrically placed along both sides of the west end. The construction of the north steeple remained incomplete. Currently there is the Museum of Prague’s Infant Jesus. The south steeple stands at 57m high and has two more floors above the church level. It is adorned with frames and the windows have shutters. The steeple is roofed with octahedral bulbous dome covered by copper sheet. The circular stairs lead up to the third floor. Further up there is only the steep wooden stairs.