Monasteries in the Czech Republic

Many of the monasteries in the Czech Republic have been recently restored and even more are currently going through the same process

It is not unusual to find accommodation in a monastery or visit a monastery pub and taste local specialities accompanied by delicious locally brewed beer. The vast majority of Czech monasteries boast some kind of unique feature or exhibit. For example in the Broumov Monastery visitors will be able to admire a copy of the famous Turin Canvas. The Czech Republic is home to more than 100 monasteries. Unfortunately, there is no single body with responsibility for gathering and collating information about them. That makes it very difficult to get a precise idea of the monasteries’ historic heritage.

Sadly, the Brevnov Monastery deteriorated considerably during the communist era. With the help of the state and many foreign monasteries the newly established Benedictine community managed to repair the buildings after the Velvet Revolution and celebrated the 1000 year anniversary of the founding of the monastery in 1993 with dignity. On this momentous occasion the Brevnov Abbotship was also awarded the title of “supreme abbotship” by the Pope. When he was in the Czech Republic in 1997 Pope John Paul II actually personally visited the monastery. Inside the Brevnov Monastery visitors can see the Baroque St. Margaret´s Basilica, a Romanesque crypt from the 11th Century and Baroque prelature with Teresian Hall. Apart from the many interesting buildings in the Brevnov Monastery complex there is also a beautiful monastery garden.    

The Chotesov Monastery has recently been included in the list of the world´s 100 most endangered historic buildings and all the events taking place in the monastery pursue a common goal which is to save the building. The monastery is accessible every Sunday from May until September and also whenever it hosts special events. There is an interesting walking trail starting at the monastery called “Nature and the People” which has been established by the Ametyst Centre of Eco-Education.

The former Cistercian Plasy Monastery is located in the romantic valley of the Strela River. The building has undergone some major reconstruction works over the centuries, the most important being the rebuilding of the convent according to the plans of Santini and Dienzenhofer. These noted architects provided the perfect technical solution for the base of the building which is situated in a marshy terrain.  

The Strahov Monastery of the Pemonstratensians was founded in 1140. The baroque style we are familiar with today is from the 18th Century. In the monastery complex there is the Basilica of Assumption of Our Lady, Strahov Gallery, Strahov Library and Theological Hall.

The Rajhrad Monastery ranks among the most spectacular historic buildings in this part of the South Moravia Region. On numerous occasions the monastery was destroyed during wars and conflicts but was restored to its former glory in the first half of the 18th Century. Later on it was elevated to independent abbotship status. The monastery church of St. Peter and Paul is one of the finest examples of Santini´s Baroque architecture. In the building of the convent there is also a Museum of Literature in Moravia.