The Bethlehem Chapel definitely represents one of the most important buildings of medieval Prague and has always been associated with the name of Jan Hus and his religious reforms. The chapel was founded in 1391 for the preaching of the God’s Word in Bohemia as an obligation of the university masters. The building used to have a capacity of 3000 people who came to pray.
One of the most famous preachers of the Bethlehem Chapel was Jan Hus, the rector of Charles University, who was influenced by the English Church reformer John Wycliffe. Jan Hus criticized the corrupt practises of the Catholic Church. Thanks to him the chapel became very popular and became the birthplace of the Reformation Movement.
After 1620 Bethlehem Chapel was taken over by the Jesuits for use by the Catholic Church. On the order of Emperor Joseph II, the chapel was closed, desecrated and torn down in 1786. An apartment house was built on the site. Nowadays you can see a faithful 1952 reconstruction of the chapel by architect Jaroslav Fragner who used parts of the original masonry and drew inspiration from old drawings. And how did the Bethlehem Chapel acquired its name? Well, the chapel was consecrated on the day commemorating the murder of the children of Bethlehem. Nowadays the Bethlehem Chapel forms an integral part of Czech national cultural heritage, and guidebooks available in many different languages can be purchased here.
If you want to sleep few minutes from the Bethlemem Chapel, book one of our cosy private double rooms!