The Prague Loreto is an artistic and historical monument, as well as a Baroque pilgrimage site the renown of which in the city can perhaps be compared only with that of the wonder-working statue of the Infant of Prague. Construction of the Prague Loreto Santa Casa (illus. 9) began on 3 June 1626, at the instigation of Baroness Benigna Katharina von Lobkowitz. The Loreto arose gradually over the course of the 17th and 18th centuries; the interiors were partly renovated in the 19th century; and in the 1950s and 1960s, a new treasury was built, accessible to the public.

The pilgrimage site is conceived as a self-contained complex of buildings around a central Santa Casa, with an oblong, two-storey arcade courtyard (unlike the Italian Loreto, where the Casa is inside the pilgrimage church). The present-day Church of the Nativity of Our Lord (on the longitudinal axis - no. 8) and two of the chapels (in the middle of the northern and southern wings - nos 4, 10) were only shallow alcoves with altars in the original design from the 1660s. As the renown of the Loreto grew, the number of visitors increased and it was necessary to enlarge the liturgical spaces of the pilgrimage site. Thus, gradually (by the end of the 17th century) the larger oblong chapels were built in the corners of the courtyard (nos 3, 5, 9, 11); subsequently, both chapels on the transversal axis were enlarged and the Chapel of the Nativity of Our Lord reconstructed in several phases into a more spacious church.

 
 Ground-plan of the Prague Loreto

(vith virtual tours links)

  1. THE MAIN ENTRANCE (virtual tour)

  2. OLD TREASURY

  3. CHAPEL OF ST ANNE

  4. CHAPEL OF ST FRANCIS SERAPHINUS

  5. CHAPEL OF THE HOLY FAMILY

  6. old sacristy – adoration chapel is being built here 

  7. Santa Casa (virtual tour)

  8. Church of the Nativity of Our Lord (2 x virtual tour)

  9. CHAPEL OF THE HOLY ROOD

  10. CHAPEL OF ST ANTONY OF PADUA

  11. THE CHAPEL OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS (St Wilgefortis)

  12. FOUNTAIN WITH SCULPTURAL GROUP OF THE RESURRECTION (virtual tour)

  13. FOUNTAIN WITH SCULPTURAL GROUP OF THE ASSUMPTION (virtual tour)

  14. ENTRANCE TO THE NEW TREASURY

 

SELECTED SOURCES AND LITERATURE

  • BAŠTOVÁ Markéta, CVACHOVÁ Teresie, Pražská Loreta. Průvodce poutním místem, Praha 2001

  • BILINENSIS P. Josephus, Capuciner, Lauretanischer Blumen-Garten, Prag 1700

  • BUKOVSKÝ Jan, Loretánské kaple v Čechách a na Moravě, Praha 2000.

  • COCHEM P. Martin von, Capuciner, Prager Laureten-Büchlein, Prag 1694

  • DĚDIČOVÁ Věra, O některých restaurátorských pracích v pražské Loretě, in: Zprávy Klubu za Starou Prahu, Praha 1987,  s.43

  • Der Prager Hradschin, Ausführliche Beschreibung, Prag 1847

  • DIVIŠ Jan, Loretánská klenotnice, in: Staletá Praha III, Praha 1967, s. 47

  • DIVIŠ Jan, Pražská Loreta, Praha 1972

  • DVOŘÁK Max, Maria Loretto am Hradschin zu Prag, Praha 1883

  • DVOŘÁK Max, Seznam pokladnice u P. Marie Loretánské v Praze na Hradčanech, Praha 1884

  • EICKLER, Wegweiser für die Freunde bei dem Besuche der Loretto-Kirche, Prag 1828

  • Ein kurzer Bericht von der Kapell Loreth genant bei denen PP. Kapuzinern zu Prag auf dem Hradschin, Prag 1670

  • GEMELI Agostino OFM, Františkánské poselství světu, Praha 1948.

  • HAMMERSCHMID Johann Florian, Prodromus Gloriae Pragenae, Prag 1723, s. 414

  • HAVRÁNKOVÁ Hana, Pražská Loreta, Praha 1991.

  • HEMMERLE Rudolf, Loretoheiligtümer in Böhmen, Mähren und Schlesien, in: Jahrbuch für Sudetendeutsche Museen und Archive 1992, s. 319 (UMPRUM IaD 154 95)

  • KAŠE Jiří, Předdvoří a balustráda pražské Lorety, in: Památky a příroda 1986, s. 207

  • MATĚJKA Pacifik Miroslav OFMCap., Ne mečem a měšcem, ale bezbranností lásky. 400 let kapucínů v Čechách a na Moravě. Velehrad 1999.

  • MATOUŠ Václav, Pražská Loreta, Praha 1961.

  • MONELLI Nanni, La Santa Casa a Loreto. La Santa Casa a Nazareth. Loreto 1992.

  • MÜLLER Theodor, Ein Augsburger Silberaltärchen in Prag, in: Opuscula in honorem C. Hermarck, Stockholm 1966, Nationalmusei Schriftserie N. 15, s. 159-166.

  • PODLAHA Antonín / ŠITTLER Eduard, Loretánský poklad v Praze na Hradčanech, Praha 1901.

  • POCHE Emanuel, Loretánský poklad, Praha 1971.

  • RABAS Laurentius OFMCap., Führer durch die Kirche, den Kreuzgang und die Loretokapelle der P. P. Kapuziner in Prag am Hradschin, Prag 1934.

  • SANTARELLI Giuseppe, La Santa Casa di Loreto, Loreto 1988.

  • SCHALLER Johann, Beschreibung der königl. Haupt-und Residenzstadt Prag I., Die Stadt Hradschin, Prag 1794.

  • ŠRONĚK Michal, Fabián Václav Harovník: práce v pražské Loretě, pozůstatek knihovny; in: Umění

  • VILÍMKOVÁ Milada, Stavebně historický průzkum Prahy. Hradčany, č.p. 100/IV blok č. 1228a, Loretánská ul., Kapucínská ul. a Loretánské nám.. Rukopis SÚRPMO, Praha 1974.

  • VILÍMKOVÁ Milada, Stavitelé paláců a chrámů. Kryštof a Kilián Ignác Dientzenhoferové. Praha 1986.

  • WACHSMANOVÁ-JURSOVÁ Věra, Loreta na Hradčanech, Praha 1941.

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