Located in Hradčany near Prague Castle, the ornate, gleaming white Loreta is a Baroque jewel constructed around several courtyards and surrounded by cloisters and chapels. Topped with a copper spire, the monastery was built between 1626 and 1631 at the behest of Baroness Beligna Katherina von Lobkowicz; it was designed by Bohemian architects and is still occupied today by an order of Capuchin monks.
The complex is one of the foremost pilgrim destinations in Bohemia, thanks to its replica of the Holy House (Santa Casa) of the Virgin Mary, copied from the original humble abode she occupied in Nazareth. The Loreta's shrine is made of simple brickwork on its interior and is encased in carved stone bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. The church itself is in flamboyantly overblown Baroque styling, while the monastery is also much visited for its fine collection of donated liturgical treasures, including chalices, crucifixes and artwork. The standout piece is the Prague Sun, a monstrance encrusted with 6,222 diamonds that is the handiwork of Viennese Baroque master-craftsman Johann Bernard Fischer of Ehrlach. The church is equally famous for its 27-bell carillon, which rings out across Hradčany on the hour every hour between 9am and 6pm.
The Loreta is open in April through October from 9am to 5pm and from November through March from 9:30am to 4pm. Admission costs CZK 150 for adults, CZK 130 for seniors and CZK 110 for students. The site is best accessed on foot, sitting just a few minutes' walk from Prague Castle. Otherwise, tram No. 22 can be taken to Pohořelec.