‘Illuminate the Underground’ or ‘The Day Underground’ ran for the second year in Prague on November 25th and 26th 2017. On these dates, numerous hidden underground locations opened to visitors for free.
Tickets went really quickly but we managed to get them for four locations:
- Crypt of the Church of Our Lady of Victory and St. Antonín Paduánský – visited Saturday 25th November
- Crypt of the Church of St. Cyril and Methodius – visited Saturday 25th November
- A storm sewer under Stromovka – visited Sunday 26th November
- A former nuclear shelter (Bunkr Parukářka) in Parukářka Park, Žižkov – visited Sunday 26th November
The Church of Our Lady of Victory and St. Antonín Paduánský is in Malá Strana – we took a 22 tram to Hellichova tram stop.
There were a few people waiting outside the church and there were some young fresh-faced Czechs with clipboards. Everyone in the group was younger than me – reflecting the online method of publicising the event and booking tickets.
Our names were on the list and we both had to sign a disclaimer. Everyone was given a small badge featuring a set of ladders against a black background.
Disappointingly we were told that photography wasn’t allowed in the crypt.
We followed our guide through to the rear of the church and then passed through a room where they work on gilding the statues. I sneaked a picture as this wasn’t the crypt.
We then went down a series of steep steps into the crypt. There wasn’t any strict control as to who followed the guide and I’m sure the single middle-aged lady in our group was just a random tourist who just wandered along with the group.
There was quite a long speech about the crypt and history in Czech.
We were then led through several rooms, one containing mummified remains of former monks.
I wish I could have taken pictures. Here’s one from the Underground Prague website:
It was a pretty interesting visit and good to be able to see somewhere not usually accessible to the public.
Back in the main church, I spotted a monk and asked if I could take his picture.
He was very friendly and said he liked English people – I’m guessing he doesn’t visit some of the Irish bars during the stag weekend season!
Even if you can’t access the crypt, the church is still worth a visit, not least to see this artefact:
Karmelitská 9, 118 00 Praha 1, Czechia
Phone: +420 257 533 646