The Church of Our Lady of Victory in Prague Lesser Town is the place, where the famous statue Prague Infant Jesus (Nino Jesus de Praga) is kept. The White Friars in the church gained it as a gift from Polyxena of Lobkowicz in 1628.
The church was built by Lutherans in 1611 – 1612 and dedicated to the Holy Trinity. It was a first Baroque building in Prague and the architect who built it is unknown. After the Protestant nobles were defeated in the battle of White Mountain in 1620, the church was given to Barefoot White Friars by Emperor Ferdinand II. It was because they had merit in the victory of imperial army in the battle.
Church of White Friars
The White Friars dedicated the church to Our Lady of Victory, rebuilt it and built a monastery nearby. The present frontage of the church was built between 1636 and 1644 at the expense of General Baltasar de Marradas. The White Friars wanted to differ from the previous Protestant Lutherans, so they situated the entrance door of the church to the present Karmelitska Street, instead of the previous entrance situated on the opposite side.
The White Friars monastery in the Church of Our Lady of Victory was abolished by Emperor Joseph II. in 1784. The church became administrated by the Maltese Knights. At the present time, it belongs to the White Friars again.
Baroque paintings inside
The interior of the church is mostly decorated with works of art from 17 th and 18 th century. There are Baroque paintings of saints by P. Brandl and statues by J. J. Bendl. There are three bells in the tower of the church, two of them are original, from the Lutheran era. They are called Jan Krtitel (John the Baptist, this bell was formerly called Jan Hus) and Jeronym. The third bell was provided by the White Friars in 1718.
Prague Infant Jesus
The statue of Prague Infant Jesus, attributed with miraculous powers, is placed to the right on a side-altar. It was made probably in 12 th century in Spain and it was brought to Bohemia by Spanish princess Marie Maxmiliana Manriques de Lara in 16 th century.
Crypt under the church
Underneath the Church of Our Lady of Victory, there is a large crypt with coffins of the White Friars from 17 th and 18 th century. More than 200 people were buried there before 1716. The mummified bodies were damaged by water, that entered the church several times. Besides the White Friars, some other people are buried there: for example Don Baltasar de Marradas or the famous beauty Terezie Frölich, who reportedly died during her wedding with a man, whom she didn´t love. The crypt is inaccessible to public.