Bethlehem Chapel Prague
One of the most important centers of the Reformation movement in Bohemia is undoubtedly the Bethlehem Chapel, associated primarily with the personality of Master Jan Hus, who preached in its premises between 1402 and 1413. The Bethlehem Chapel was always to serve only sermons. It was built on Bethlehem Square in Prague's Old Town, in the places where the slum and seat of vice used to be. Its premises can accommodate up to three thousand listeners.
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Interesting facts Bethlehem Chapel Prague
Few people may already know that the Chapel of Bethlehem is dedicated to the memory of infants, ie newborns, whom King Herod had murdered. However, this place is inextricably linked with the preacher, Master Jan Hus, who was greatly influenced by the teachings of John Wycliff. Like him, he sought to revive the church, which at that time was more divided - the papacy, witch hunts, and bribes. In essence, therefore, Jan Hus sought to return to the original idea of the Church and the mission of Christianity. At the time when Jan Hus preached in the Bethlehem Chapel, his proclamation was very often attended. Even the queen herself took part. The church in Jan Hus increasingly saw its enemy until it issued an order to burn him. This was subsequently done at the Council of Constance in 1415.
After the end of the Thirty Years' War, the Jesuits received the Bethlehem Chapel and in the second half of the 18th century the chapel was even rebuilt into a residential house. The reconstruction of the Bethlehem Chapel did not take place until 1950 and lasted a total of four years. Together with the neighboring house of preachers, the Bethlehem Chapel regained its original form.
The original painting of the chapel was made in red, probably to make the paintings and inscriptions stand out well, some of which have survived to this day. It is a text about the sanctuary and two texts about the reception of parables, all dating from 1412. All other inscriptions in the present Bethlehem Chapel are only copies of the original models.
Author: Andrea Štyndlová