Renovation of Public Area In front of the Church
barrier-free access – restoration of the staircase and balustrades – visitor centre and public toilets – preparatory work for the future accessibility of the crypt
Every year, the Church of the Infant Jesus of Prague is visited by 500,000 people who come to celebrate a mass, to hear a lecture, to take a tour of the church, to pray in silence or to spend a quiet moment. The church serves local people as well as the pilgrims and visitors from all around the world. Next to the church, there is a public elementary school. The project of renovation of the public area will make the church accessible to all visitors including people with disabilities, wheelchair users and parents with baby carriages. We also plan to build adequate facilities for the visitors.
„The piazza“ near Karmelitská Street, in front of the entrance to the Church of the Infant Jesus of Prague, has all the attributes of captivating beauty of Prague public areas which received their form in the baroque period. They become engraved unforgettably in one‘s mind and their characteristic shapes emerge instantly in one’s memory. Why is that? Karmelitská Street widens in front of the church and creates a kind of a resting place which is not without purpose: it expands further by means of three beautiful baroque staircases leading onto a charming baroque terrace, attached to an exquisite facade of the Carmelite church. Indeed, a multi-layered public space, one that is difficult to match. It is structured by at least three dividing lines which offer the visitor a magnificent experience, provided solely by the Prague baroque. It is a design that can be improved but must not be damaged.
To build the barrier-free access, it is possible to make use of the current situation; the baroque terrace and the staircases are in such disrepair that it is urgent to restore them, first taking them down completely and then rebuilding them on new, firm foundations. By moving the entire terrace 1.7 m towards the street, a new space will be created for building the access ramp, hidden from the view behind the baroque balustrade. Creating the barrier-free access, which will be used by the visitors of the church as well as of the school, in terms of baroque thinking is possible. The intervention, which brings a high added value to the users of the public area, will be almost unnoticeable from Karmelitská street.
Architect Josef Pleskot, author of the project
The view of the front of the church with the three staircases will remain practically unchanged, as well as the trees and the green. The staircases and the balustrades will be moved by 1.7 m towards the street. This will create the space for the ramp which will, however, be hidden behind the wall of the terrace and the balustrade. The staircase, the paving and the balustrade, which are in disrepair, will be professionally renovated. A new covered space for visitors will be created under the terrace, with public toilets and a room for gathering, the guide’s explanation etc. The space under the terrace will be designed in a way that will, at some point in the future, provide access to the unique crypt beneath the church.
September 2019 – the project of the renovation was approved by the Prague City Hall Heritage Department; the hydrogeological research confirmed that the planned renovation will have no negative impact on the groundwater.
Autumn 2019 – the preparatory work on project documentation and survey of the paving and balustrades are being carried out.
November 2019 – the archaeological research will begin.
2020-2021 – the renovation will be carried out while the church will remain open.
You can support the project of renovation by a donation to the Monastery of the Infant Jesus of Prague. (IBAN: CZ93 2700 0000 0060 2409 0001, SWIFT: BACXCZPP). For the receipt of your donation, kindly contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.