Kostel Matky Boží před Týnem

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Kostel Matky Boží před Týnem

The twin-spired Týn Church is an Old Town Square landmark and one of the city's best examples of Gothic architecture. The church's exterior was in part the work of Peter Parler, the architect responsible for the Charles Bridge and St. Vitus Cathedral. Construction of the twin black-spire towers began a little later, in 1461, by King Jiří of Poděbrad, during the heyday of the Hussites. Jiří had a gilded chalice, the symbol of the Hussites, proudly displayed on the front gable between the two towers. Following the defeat of the Czech Protestants by the Catholic Hapsburgs in the 17th century, the chalice was melted down and made into the Madonna's glimmering halo (you can still see it resting between the spires). Much of the interior, including the tall nave, was rebuilt in the baroque style in the 17th century. Some Gothic pieces remain, however: look to the left of the main altar for a beautifully preserved set of early carvings. The main altar itself was painted by Karel Škréta, a luminary of the Czech baroque. The church also houses the tomb of renowned Danish (and Prague court) astronomer Tycho Brahe, who died in 1601.

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