Did you know that...?

  • Clementinum was at one point in history the third largest Jesuit College in the world.
  • Despite being the “home” of millions of books (including the some priceless handwritten volumes, that took up lifetimes to create), which suggests enlightenment, Clementinum was also a place, where Jesuit Konias burnt 30 000 “heretical” volumes.
  • Until the formation of the Czech Republic in 1918 every day a man with a huge red and white flag and a watch climbed up the Astronomical tower. He waved the flag exactly when his watch showed noon. This was a signal for the artillery, whose shots signalled for the citizens of Prague that they should hurry, unless they wanted to miss their lunch.
  • Clementinum served as a fortress of students during the 1848 revolution.

And the last pearl is for all fans of mysteries and legends…

  • There may be a treasure hidden somewhere in Clementinum!

According to one legend there was a knock at a door of a poor bricklayer one day. It is not a coincidence that this happened during the time when Jesuits were forced to leave Prague after their order was cancelled by the Pope. Quite naturally, something had to be done with the immense accumulated fortune.

Two cloaked figures offered the perplexed and terrified bricklayer a well paid job. The need for money was stronger than man’s fear and he therefore reluctantly agreed. The figures blindfolded him and took him in a carriage on a “long” journey – they just travelled here and there in Prague to confuse him. Similarly, after they got out of the carriage they took him in circles back and forth but finally the blindfold was taken down.

The bricklayer was standing in a cellar. In front of him there was a hole in the wall. He peeped into the opening and saw lots of iron coffers. Having finished his job, which was to wall up the opening, the deceiving journey was repeated. The location of the walled up chamber with the treasure has thus forever remained Jesuit secret and may be with its precious contents still somewhere in spacious Clementinum.

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