Church of Saint Joseph, and Na Poříčí 1077/1

Alongside the refurbished barracks that now form the Palladium shopping centre in Prague’s New Town sits the unassuming single-gabled church of St Joseph.

It was built between 1636 and 1653 by Melichar Mayer for the order of Capuchin Friars, whose monastery had been founded here in 1630 by Gerard of Questenberk. The plain exterior, decorated only with a fresco of St Joseph and the infant Jesus, reflects the simple life of solitude and penance embraced by this particular branch of Franciscans.

Outside the church, facing the street, are two alcoves containing eighteenth-century statues, one of Saint Francis and the other of Saint John Nepomuk. The inscription below the latter reads ‘Hoc syncerus Amor struxit tibi, dive Joannes’ (‘Love sincere erected this [statue] to thee, Blessed John’), with a chronogram giving the year 1732.

The building immediately to the right, dating from 1833, replaced an earlier hospice belonging to the monastery, and today serves as a branch of the local Elementary Art School.