Virtual Tour Showcases Baroque Splendor of Prague's National Library

The National Library of the Czech Republic has launched a virtual tour of the stunning Baroque Clementinum complex in Prague, allowing global access to its architectural and historical treasures, including the Baroque library, Meridian hall, Astronomical tower, and Mirror Chapel.

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Virtual Tour Showcases Baroque Splendor of Prague's National Library

Virtual Tour Showcases Baroque Splendor of Prague's National Library

The National Library of the Czech Republic has launched a new virtual tour that allows visitors to explore the stunning Baroque spaces of the Clementinum complex in Prague. The Clementinum, which houses the National Library, is the second largest architectural complex in the city after Prague Castle and was originally a Jesuit college.

The virtual tour focuses on the Baroque library hall, Meridian hall, Astronomical tower, and the Mirror Chapel. The Baroque library, with its collection of over 20,000 books, intricate frescoes, and astronomical globes, transports visitors back to the 18th century. The Meridian hall was used to determine noon, while the 223 ft (68 m) tall Astronomical tower served as a site for astronomical studies.

Another highlight is the Mirror Chapel, adorned with mirror-decorated ceilings, gilded stuccos, marble paneling, and ceiling frescoes. The chapel houses two precious Baroque organs, one of which was played by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Classical concerts held in the Mirror Chapel are described as a unique and unforgettable experience, although one review notes that the quality of the musicians can vary.

The virtual collection also includes 200 exceptional historical documents, four digital stories, and a 'puzzle party' related to the Czech National Library. The aim is to showcase the library's Baroque architecture and historical significance to visitors who may not be able to physically visit the library.

Guided tours of the Clementinum complex last 45 minutes and offer a stunning view of Prague's skyline from the top of the Astronomical tower. Visitors can climb the 172 steps to reach the circular viewing balcony at 52 meters, just below the lead statue of Atlas carrying a celestial sphere that adorns the tower.

Why this matters: The virtual tour of the National Library's Baroque spaces provides global access to one of Prague's architectural and historical treasures. It allows people to experience the grandeur and beauty of the Clementinum complex, even if they are unable to visit in person.

The launch of the virtual tour comes at a time when many cultural institutions are expanding their digital offerings to engage audiences remotely. "The virtual tour is an opportunity for people around the world to explore the rich history and stunning architecture of the Clementinum," said a spokesperson for the National Library. "We hope it will inspire more people to visit Prague and explore these spaces in person when they are able to do so."

Key Takeaways

  • National Library of Czech Republic launched virtual tour of Clementinum
  • Tour showcases Baroque library, Meridian hall, Astronomical tower, Mirror Chapel
  • Clementinum is 2nd largest architectural complex in Prague after Prague Castle
  • Guided tours offer stunning views of Prague from Astronomical tower
  • Virtual tour aims to provide global access to this architectural treasure