Our Lady of the Snows (Panna Marie Snezná)

Our Lady of the Snows (Panna Marie Snezná) (52)

The tale goes that in the 4th century, the Virgin appeared before the Pope during a dream and asked him to build a church in a place where the snow fell even in August. This desire was fulfilled almost ten centuries later, when Charles IV ordered this Gothic temple to be built in 1347 to celebrate his coronation.

The initial project was much more ambitious than what eventually came to be a reality. The construction of 100 metres that it was originally meant to measure was interrupted by the Hussite wars. In the end only the presbytery was built. The nave and the façade were forgotten forever. Even the bell tower, work on which had begun, was unfinished due to the wars in 1434.

The presbytery is 33 metres high and belonged to a Carmelita monastery. In the north wing there is a pediment from the 14th century at the entrance of what was the cemetery.

In Our Lady of the Snows preached the Hussite rebel Jan Zelivský, who was buried here after his execution. The church was left abandoned until 1603, when it was restored by Franciscan monks, who also added a cross vault.

The inside of the church is completely Baroque with the exception of a tin baptismal font that dates from the 15th century. The altar has a height of three storeys and is decorated with statues of saints. You cannot miss the magnificent altarpiece of the Annunciation, created by Wenzel Lorenz Reiner in 1724.

In the south part of the church you will come across a delightful garden which in the past was the orchard of the Franciscan monastery. It was opened to the pubic in 1950 and, since then, visitors can wander among its flower beds and plants, the same ones cultivated by the Franciscans in times long, long gone.

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