Clementinum Library, Prague's Historical Treasure


The Celementinum complex was originally built as a Jesuit Dormitory. It is one of Europe's largest building complex constructed between the mid-16th century to the mid-18th century. It is the second largest building after the Prague Castle in the City which is next to the Charles Bridge.


The Clementinum Complex consists of several building which are conected to each other. Namely, the National Baroque Library, the Astronomical Tower, Meridian Hall, Churches and Chapels and the Mirror Chapel.


The Baroque Library, is considered as the most beautiful part/hall of the complex which is decorarted with beautiful frescoes and historically valuable globes.



The baroque library was first opened in 1722 as a part of the Jesuit university. It host over 20.000 volumes of mostly foreign theological literature, the collection of the books are coming to Clementinum from the beginning of the 17th century until today. The books which are marked with white painted spines and red marks have been in the library since the time of the Jesuits.

​ The inner side of the baroque library has remained since the 18th century. The marvelous hall is decorated with ceiling frescoes by Jan Hiebl depicting allegorical motifs of education, and portraits of Jesuit saints, patrons of the university and prominent representatives of this order. At the head of the hall is placed a portrait of Emperor Joseph II (the Holy Roman Emperor). who arranged the books from abolished monastic libraries to be sent to Clementinum.


Clementinum Complex

The geografical and astronomical globes which are standing along the hall are mainly works of the Jesuits. Among the globes are also astronomical clocks, constructed mainly by Jan Klein.


In 1777, Maria Theresa (Walburga Amalia Christina was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg.) declared the library as Public and University Library. In 1781, director Karel Rafael Ungar of the library established a collection of literature written in Czech language called Biblioteca Nationalis.


This famous and important collection is now under the same name located in the head of the hall at the gallery. The library still contains a number of important and unique works, that have global importantce.



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