Church of Our Lady before Týn

Prague, Czech Republic

Church of Our Lady before Týn

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The Church of Mother of God before Týn (in Czech Kostel Matky Boží před Týnem, also Týnský chrám (Týn Church) or just Týn), often translated as Church of Our Lady before Týn, is a Gothic church and a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague, Czech Republic. It has been the main church of this part of the city since the 14th century. The church's two towers are 80 m high, and each tower's spire is topped by eight smaller spires in two layers of four.

In the 11th century, the Old Town plaza area was occupied by a Romanesque church, which was built for foreign merchants coming to the nearby Týn Courtyard. It was replaced by an early Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn in 1256. Construction of the present church began in the 14th century. The church was designed in the late Gothic style under the influence of Matthias of Arras and later Peter Parler. By the beginning of the 15th century, construction was almost complete; only the towers, the gable and roof were missing. The church was controlled by Hussites for two centuries, including John of Rokycan, future archbishop of Prague, who became the church's vicar in 1427. The building was completed in the 1450s, while the gable and northern tower were completed shortly thereafter during the reign of George of Poděbrady (1453–1471). His sculpture was placed on the gable, below a huge golden chalice, the symbol of the Hussites. The southern tower was not completed until 1511, under architect Matěj Rejsek.

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