The Infant Jesus of Prague
The Church of Our Lady Victorious (Kostel Panny Marie Vítězné), built in 1613, has on its central altar a 47cm-tall waxwork figure of the baby Jesus, brought from Spain in 1628. Known as the Infant Jesus of Prague (Pražské Jezulátko), it is said to have protected Prague from the plague and from the destruction of the Thirty Years’ War. An 18th-century German prior, ES Stephano, wrote about the miracles, kicking off what eventually became a worldwide cult; today the statue is visited by a steady stream of pilgrims, especially from Italy, Spain and Latin America. It was traditional to dress the figure in beautiful robes, and over the years various benefactors donated richly embroidered dresses. Today the Infant’s wardrobe consists of more than 70 costumes donated from all over the world; these are changed regularly in accordance with a religious calendar. At the back of the church is the museum, displaying a selection of the frocks used to dress the Infant; shops in the street nearby sell copies of the wax figure. Looking at all this, you can’t help thinking about the Second Commandment (‘Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…’) and the objectives of the Reformation. Jan Hus must be spinning in his grave.
Address: Karmelitská 9; Admission free; Open church 8.30am-7pm Mon-Sat & 8.30am-8pm Sun, museum 9.30am-5.30pm Mon-Sat & 1-6pm Sun, closed 1 Jan, 25 & 26 Dec & Easter Mon.