Even into this century, people traveled long distances to certain Holy Shrines. They went on a pilgrimage. Seeking succor or hop, trying to repent for their sins, on a Holy mission or to fulfill a vow, they wandered throughout Europe and to the East. One site they went to was not available until the early 17th century. This was the Loreto in Prague.
The Loreto complex rose from the ground in Prague at the wish of Kateřína of Lobkowiz, a Czech aristocrat. In 1661, popular usage required the construction of cloisters. They enclosed the Loreto and provided some shelter for the visiting pilgrims. In the 18th century, the father and son team of Christoph and Kilian Dientzenhofer added a Baroque facade. It provides the proper appearance for what the complex contains. There are the Chapels, several of them covering Saints from St. Ann to St. Joseph. There is the Church of the Nativity of Our Lord, a Dientzenhofer creation from 1737.The Bell tower features 30 bells cast by a master bell foundry in Amsterdam. Yet, what people come to stare in wonder at is the “Prague Sun.” Part of the Loreto Treasury, it is a 90cm monster Monstrance created of gold and silver and encrusted with 6,222 diamonds.
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