Museum of the Infant Baby Jesus, Prague

When I see an arrow saying ‘Museum’, especially if it’s somewhere unusual, I’m drawn to follow it. This is how I came across the Museum of the Infant Baby Jesus.

The Church of Our Victorious Lady in Prague is known for a small statue of baby Jesus. It may be blasphemous to say, but it’s not a great statue. If it’s meant to be a baby it’s rather an unconventional shape. But it has attracted the adoration of thousands of visitors. And what a spectacle Baby Jesus is. Dressed in a lavish purpose made gown, on a plinth on high, surrounded by gold and gesturing a blessing to his visitors, the opulence is eye watering.

Infant Jesus Shrine

So where does the museum come in? At the back corner of the church is a spiral staircase, with an arrow directing you up the stairs with the tell-tale word ‘MUZEUM’. I’m not going to ignore that arrow. So up the spiral staircase, which is decorated with a catwalk series of photos of the infant saviour idol in some of his many outfits.

Finally you get to the room that contains his wardrobe. Lined in a large case these outfits are beautiful creations, each with a little plaque indicating the date they were created and who they were given by. At 46 outfits and 2 bling crowns he’s got an impressive wardrobe and gets lovingly changed around 10 times a year, thus continuing traditions that have been in place since he arrived from Spain in 1628.

Infant Jesus clothes

But what does he look like when he’s not all dressed up on display . . . this too is portrayed in a photograph in the exhibition; without his capes and bling he definitely looks smaller.

Infant Jesus Statue

This was probably one of the more surreal museum visits that I have had. Maybe it was because it was in a church, maybe because I wasn’t expecting it, or maybe because I don’t really understand the necessity of such an extensive wardrobe since the wee guy can only wear one thing at once. Regardless, I did find it fascinating and the ritual that surrounds this one object and the connections that are created between this statue and people is bordering on ‘relic-like’ and very interesting.

Want to sere of Prague’s Museums? Look here.

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