Church of Our Lady of the Snows

in Nové Město

This Gothic church at the northern end of Wenceslas Square was begun in the 14th century by Charles IV, but only the chancel was ever completed, which accounts for its proportions – seemingly taller than it is long. Charles had intended it to be the largest church in Prague, but the Hussite wars brought work to an end. The nave is higher than that of St Vitus Cathedral, and the altar is the city’s tallest.

The church was a Hussite stronghold, ringing with the sermons of Jan Želivský, who led the 1419 defenestration that touched off the Hussite Wars. The church is approached through an arch in the Austrian Cultural Institute on Jungmannovo náměstí, but you can get a good view of the exterior from the neighbouring Franciscan Garden. Beside the church is the Chapel of the Pasov Virgin, now a venue for temporary art exhibitions.