The Clementinum is one of the largest complexes in Prague, and today contains the Czech National Library, as well as one of the oldest weather stations in the world where records have been kept since 1775.
The building was founded in the 11th century, when it was built as the Church of St. Clement. In the 13th century, Dominican Monks took it over and used it as a monastery.
The Jesuits arrived in Prague in the 16th century, and purchased the building for the purpose of founding a Jesuit college. Over the next 200 years, the complex was built larger and larger until it reached the over 20,000sqm that it is today.
There are two main things to see in the Clementinum today. The first is the Baroque Library Hall, which looks today just as it did in the early 18th century. The hall itself is covered in impressive frescos, and is known as the most beautiful part of the whole complex.
The other is the Astronomical Tower. This was originally used as a viewing tower, however it was converted into a observatory in the late 18th century for the use of the Jesuit students, who were studying in the then college. It was from here that different meteorological and climate measurements were taken, and are still taken to this day.
Today it is possible to climb this 50-meter high tower to get a great view over the city center.
The Clementium is located on the left side of the Charles Bridge, when approaching the west side of the river.
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