History of the place – „Týn School“
Originally at the place of the present building used to be two town houses. One dates back to the late 13th century and the other was built in the first half of the 14th century.
They were connected, enlarged and rebuilt in an Early Renaissance style in the first half of the 16th century.
School seated there from the early 15th century to the first half of the 19th century.
Since 1994 the ground floor and cellar premises have been renovated to the restaurant and the cellar wine bar Caffé Italia.
The house is situated on an irregular plot and together with a fence wall and the Church of Our Lady before Týn surrounds an irregular yard. The front of the building leads to the Old Town Square and excels with arcade arches and a fresco of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary from the 18th century on the first floor, and two double-storey Renaissance gables.
The arcade, where is an entrance to the restaurant and the wine bar Caffé Italia, has preserved Gothic vaults.
The most outstanding dominant feature not only of the Old Town Square but also of the Old Town itself is the Church of Our Lady before Týn, so called the Týn Church. It got its name according to the fortified place of Týn Court, which also used to be called Ungelt. From the half of the 13th century this court served foreign merchants for their overnight stay and later they paid their duty there. However, the Church of the Virgin Mary is older and the first mention about it and also about the infirmary dates back to 1135 (at present the restaurant LA SCALA is situated in cellar premises of the former infirmary). We do not know its appearance at that time. During the 13th century it was necessary to radically enlarge the church. And even the enlarged church was again rebuilt to its present appearance. Construction work began after 1350 and monumental three naves apart from a vault and tops of spires were completed by the late 13th century. Hussite Wars interrupted the construction work of builders and artists and the roof frame of the main nave was built in 1457 and in 1463 the gable of the nave and in 1463 – 1466 the northern spire was completed. The southern spire dates back to 1506 – 1511. Because a fire in 1679 damaged the original Gothic vault of the main nave, the vault was replaced with the Baroque one.
The interior of the Týn Church combines elements of all styles. All 20 altars deserve attention. They are embellished by works of renowned sculptors and painters, such as J. J. Bendl, J.O.Mayer, E. Max, A. Heidelberger, F. M. Brokoff, M. Rejsek, Stevens of Steinfels, J. J. Heintsch, M. Halbax, K. Škréta, G. Romanino, F. Čermák etc. Among the most significant works of art are for example tinned font from 1414, the statue of the Týn Madonna from the early 15th century, Gothic stone pulpit, altar of St.John the Baptist with late Gothic reliefs of the Christ baptism by Master IP from about 1520, the painting of Christ ancestry by J.J.Heintsch from about 1690, the painting of the St.Crispin by M. Halbax from 1707 and paintings by K. Škréta. You can also admire the tombstone of Tycho de Brahe, a renowned astronomer of Rudolf II, made in 1601. No less beautiful piece of art is Týn pipe organ built by a renowned German organ builder J. Mundt.