Church of Our Lady of the Snows (Kostel Panny Marie Sněžné) is a hidden place which you can see from a lot of place, but will have to walk around a bit to find the entrance. This Church is situated near Wenceslas square and let’s all the visitors to see amazing interiors, design and fascinating building. So let’s get a bit into the history of this place and discover it.
The history of this church began in 1347, when Charles IV signed a document and gave quite a big piece of territory to the order of the Carmelites. They could build a church and a monastery. From the documents to actual construction it took some time. They built first the apsis and only in 1397 first arches were completed. After they made all three naves of the church the whole construction was 110 meters long.
But unfortunately they could not complete the construction of Church of Our Lady of the Snows, because the Hussites wars began
Already in the XVII century monks found finances to build 29-meter high altar. It is the most impressive altar in Prague, covered with gold and reflecting the Bible scene of the Esquiline Hill in Rome covered with snow.
Miracle with snow
According to the legend the miracle happened in 352 during the rain of Pope Liberius. One man had a dream seeing Our Lady telling him, that he should build a church at the place where snow will fall. The dream was quite a strange one, because it was August in Rome — the hottest month of the whole year. But it snowed! And they built the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.
This scene we can see in one of the pictures of Church of Our Lady of the Snows. Among the Romans following the signs of Our Lady we can see also the sponsors of the Prague Church – Jan from Talmberg and his wife.
Church of Our Lady of the Snows history
As I have already mentioned, the construction of the church was frozen during the Hussites wars, moreover in 1434 the northern tower of the church was destroyed. Since that times the building was almost abandoned. And only in 1603 the territory and the construction went to the order of Franciscans, since Carmelites had left Prague.
In the XVII and XVIII centuries the church underwent massive reconstruction and finally, when everything looked perfect came the XX century with its wars and political regimes.
In 1948 communists get into power in Cekoslovakia. Luckily they didn’t come with an idea of ruining of the Church of Our Lady of the Snows and people could even come to pray there. But, partially the territory of the monastery was occupied by ministry of internal affairs. In 1989 after the velvet revolution the building finally went back to the order of Franciscans. They did a lot of work to reconstruct the church.
Franciscans’ garden in Prague
To the right from the Church of Our Lady of the Snows one can find a beautiful garden. This is Franciscans’ garden in Prague. Locals and tourists like to have a rest after a long day. It is open for public since 1950. You can visit it from 9 in the morning till 9 in the evening.
- Address: Jungmannovo nám. 753/18, 110 00 Nové Město;
- Phone: +420 222 246 243
- Open: 9:00 – 18:00;
- Page: http://pms.ofm.cz/