Around 20,000 books and manuscripts, dating back to 1600, are housed in the baroque Library Hall, which is a masterpiece of 17th-century art with frescoes by Jan Hiebl. Equally startling is the Mirror Chapel, which was designed in 1724 and also rich in flamboyant baroque flourishes: the chapel serves as a venue for nightly classical concerts. The Clementinum’s Astronomical Tower, used as an observatory until the 1930s, offers some of the best views of Prague and the Vltava River (it’s an arduous, 172-step climb up, however), while the site's two churches—the Church of St. Clement and the Chapel of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary—are some of the examples of baroque architecture in the city.
Visits to the Clementinum are by guided tour only—tours last around 50 minutes. Walking tours of Prague typically include a stop to look at the exterior. If you are short of time, this is a great way to get a glimpse and tick off as many sights as possible.
Things to know before you go
- Home to some of the city’s most impressive baroque architecture, the Clementinum is a must-visit for lovers of the arts.
- Conservatively dressed visitors are welcome to attend church services.
- Only some parts, including the ground-floor Mirror Chapel (where concerts are held) are wheelchair accessible.
How to get there
The Clementinum is centrally located in Prague’s Old Town, within walking distance of major hotels and attractions including Charles Bridge. The closest Prague Metro station is Staromestska (served by line A), which is a five-minute walk away. The closest tram stop is also Staromestska (served by trams 2,17, and 18).
When to get there
Starting at 10 am, guided tours of the Clementinum run every 30 minutes seven days a week. Closing time varies throughout the year, but is generally in the early evening. There is often a long line to book tours so save time by booking a skip-the-line ticket in advance.
Tours of the Clementinum do not include visits to the Mirror Chapel, which is exclusively reserved for classical music concerts. So the best way to see it is by attending one of these nightly performances, in which the 18th-century organs are played, including one that was played by Mozart. The concerts are popular and tickets are limited, so advance booking is required. There is no dress code for the concerts: smart casual is typical.
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