There are over one hundred churches in Prague, a city which lays claim to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Augustinians have served there since the year 1258. Their present focus is centred on Saint Thomas' Church (Kostel sv. Tomáše).
This was where the 1989 Peace Prayers were said which led to the fall of the Communist government of what was then the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic ("Czechoslovakia.")
The Benedictine monks of Brevnov Abbey built the original Church of Saint Thomas and the adjacent chapel of Saint Dorothy before the year 1227.
In 1285, the Church, the chapel and their properties were with the approval of the Abbot of Brevnov given by King Václav II and his wife, Queen Guta, to the Augustinian friars.
This document of invitation was on display at Saint Thomas' Church in 2003 as part of a display to mark the celebrations for the 775th anniversary of this building.
Saint Thomas' Church is the only church in Prague that has remained Catholic ever since it was first built.
Built in contemporary gothic style, the original Church had approximately the same length and width as the present structure.
After thirty-one years of gradual construction, the present site of the priests' house was completed and dedicated to Saint Thomas the Apostle in the year 1316.
In 1379, the main body of the Church - dedicated to Saint Augustine - was finally completed.
This magnificent structure, however, was twice set on fire during the Hussite wars in 1420. It was only in 1497 that the edifice was restored for public worship.
During the reign of Emperor Rudolph II, the Church and monastery were rebuilt and used as both the parish church and pro-cathedral of Prague.
In the beginning of the eighteenth century from 1723 to 1731 the famous Czech Baroque architects, Christof and later his son and successor, Killian Ignac Dietzenhofer, rebuilt the Church in a surprisingly restrained baroque style.