Prague's Loreto / Pražská Loreta
N 50° 05.354 E 014° 23.488
33U E 456469 N 5548729
Quick Description: A remarkable place consisting of a Capucine monastery, the Church of the Lord’s Birth, a Holy Hut (Santa Casa), and clock tower with a world famous chime that has been situated in Prague-Hradcany for more than 300 years...
Location: Hlavni mesto Praha, Czech Republic
Date Posted: 4/28/2009 6:26:50 AM
Waymark Code: WM69FZ
The Prague Loreto complex (Capucine monastery with palace, church, chaples and Holy Hut) is an artistic and historical monument, as well as a Baroque pilgrimage site the renown of which in the city can perhaps be compared only with that of the wonder-working statue of the Infant of Prague. Construction of the Prague Loreto Santa Casa began in June 1626, at the instigation of Baroness Benigna Katharina von Lobkowitz. The Loreto arose gradually over the course of the 17th and 18th centuries; the interiors were partly renovated in the 19th century; and in the 1950s and 1960s, a new treasury was built, accessible to the public.
The pilgrimage site is conceived as a self-contained complex of buildings around a central Santa Casa, with an oblong, two-storey arcade courtyard (unlike the Italian Loreto, where the Casa is inside the pilgrimage church). The present-day Church of the Nativity of Our Lord and two of the chapels (in the middle of the northern and southern wings) were only shallow alcoves with altars in the original design from the 1660s. As the renown of the Loreto grew, the number of visitors increased and it was necessary to enlarge the liturgical spaces of the pilgrimage site. Thus, gradually (by the end of the 17th century) the larger oblong chapels were built in the corners of the courtyard; subsequently, both chapels on the transversal axis were enlarged and the Chapel of the Nativity of Our Lord reconstructed in several phases into a more spacious church.