Top monuments - Church of Our Lady Victorious
This church is famous the world over for the Infant Jesus of Prague, or Bambino di Praga, which came from Spain and was given to the church by Polyxena of Lobkowicz in 1628. The 47-centimetre-tall wax-coated wooden figure is said to have once belonged to St. Teresa of Avila and to have worked miracles, making it a point of pilgrimage among many Roman Catholics.
The church itself is an Early Baroque building constructed by German Lutherans in 1611 – 1612 and consecrated to the Holy Trinity. The architect is thought to have been Giovanni Maria Filippi, a member of the court of Emperor Rudolph II. After achieving victory over the Counter-Reformation, Emperor Ferdinand II bestowed the church upon the Discalced Carmelites as a reward for their contribution to the Imperial Army's victory at the Battle of White Mountain in 1620.
The Carmelites consecrated the church to Our Lady Victorious and reconstructed it, as well as building a monastery nearby. The Seminary Garden was created near the monastery, where frogs and fish were raised for days of fasting. The Carmelite monastery was closed during the reign of Emperor Joseph II in 1784, and the church fell under the administration of the Knights of Malta. It currently belongs to the Carmelites once again.
The Early Baroque main altar from 1716 is characteristic for its alternating black-and-gold finish. Many altarpieces are valuable works of art; one example is the piece by Peter Brandl. An extensive crypt is located underneath the church, but it is not open to the public.
The statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague has been located inside the church since 1628. The bride of Wratislaw von Pernstein, Maria Maxmilian Manriquez de Lara, brought the statue to Bohemia as dowry in the mid-16th century. She later gave the Infant Jesus to her daughter, Polyxena, upon her marriage to Wilhelm von Rosenberg, to protect the family hearth.
The famous wax statue is 16th century Spanish workmanship. It is 47 centimetres tall, and the inside is wrapped in canvas coated with wax. The Infant Jesus has two crowns and 46 outfits in the colours of the liturgical year. A small museum was built to house the clothing and other religious items.
The church belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. Services are held in Czech, English, French, Italian and Spanish.
January - December Mon. - Sat. 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Sun. 8:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.