Monasteries in Czech Republic

Dominican Monastery

Dominican Monastery is the oldest gothic monument in České Budějovice. It consists of Church of Presentation of Virgin Mary and town fortifications. Today, the monastery belongs to the cultural heritage of the Czech Republic and there is placed the Artistic school. The Dominican monastery in České Budějovice with the well-preserved Gothic cloister was built at the same time as the city. ...
Founded: c. 1260 | Location: České Budějovice, Czech Republic

Strahov Monastery

After his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1138, Bishop of Olomouc Jindrich Zdík had the idea of establishing a monastery of canons regular in Prague. With assistance from the Prague rulers and bishops, a monastery was set up in a place called Strahov, but failed to prosper. It was not until 1143, when Premonstratensians from their house od Steinfeld in the Rhineland arrived in Strahov, that the life of the monastic ...
Founded: 1143 | Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Minorite Monastery

Minorite Monastery in Český Krumlov (officially Monastery of the Order of the Knights of the Cross with a Red Star) was founded in 1350 by Peter I of Rosenberg and his wife Kateřina as a common monastery of Minorites and Clare nuns, with a common church. From the end of the 14th century, the complex also included a house for pious laic women, called beguines. The stay of the Clare nuns was brought to an e ...
Founded: 1350 | Location: Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Emmaus Monastery

The Emmaus monastery is an abbey established in 1347 in Prague. The area became the only Benedictine monastery of the Bohemian kingdom and all Slavic Europe. In the 1360s, the Cloisters of the Monastery were decorated with a cycle of 85 wall Gothic paintings with parallels from the Old and New Testaments. The Gothic cloisters also feature original faded frescoes with bits of Pagan symbolism from the 14th century. The mon ...
Founded: 1347 | Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Osek Monastery

The Cistercian Osek monastery was founded in 1191. It was invaded by armies, plundered by the Branibors, and burnt down by the Hussites. In the 15th century it was damaged, the monks were murdered and the property was taken away. Rudolf II abolished it in 1580, however, the Pope invalidated this decision. The manor was confiscated during the Thirty Years War, but the monastery was given back to the Cistercians later. It ...
Founded: 1191 | Location: Osek, Czech Republic

Brevnov Monastery

Břevnov Monastery is a Benedictine archabbey founded by Saint Adalbert, the second Bishop of Prague, in 993 AD with the support of Duke Boleslav II of Bohemia. Hence the first Benedictine male monastery in Bohemia, it also has the oldest tradition of beer brewing in the Czech Republic, up to today, the Břevnovský Benedict beer is brewed here. The first monks descended form Niederaltaich Abbey in Bavaria, ...
Founded: 993 AD | Location: Prague, Czech Republic

St. Catherine's Monastery

The former Ursuline Convent has been well-preserved, with the interior especially having almost no subsequent modifications. The current monastery complex was rebuilt from the original Renaissance building, whose remains are still partly preserved in the brickwork, after the great fire of 1709. The monastery was built in the Baroque period as a two-storied yet unfinished building complex around two central courtyards. The ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Olomouc, Czech Republic

Hradisko Monastery

Hradisko Monastery was originally a Benedictine monastery, from the mid-12th century a premonstratensian monastery in Olomouc. It was established in 1078 and it serves as an military hospital since 1802. The four-winged building with a rectangular platform, with corner towers and a moat, is divided by an inner lateral wing into two parts - the convent and the prelature. While the northern part of the monastery was built ...
Founded: 1078 | Location: Olomouc, Czech Republic

Dominican Monastery

The Dominican Monastery in Ústí nad Labem was founded in 1186. The church was remodelled in Baroque style in 1718-1722 during extensive reconstruction designed by Litoměřice architect Octavio Broggio. At the wish of the Prior of Ústí, he based his design of the St Adalbert Church on the model of the Prague Church of St Ursula. Under the communist regime it was used for storage and later on, whitewashed and stripped ...
Founded: 1186 | Location: Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic

Kadan Franciscan Monastery

The Franciscan Monastery lies on the edge of the town of Kadaň, near the river Ohře. The first building on the site was a moderate holy shrine first mentioned in 1469. At Easter 1473 Franciscan Order assumed the shrine and with the support of Kadaň inhabitants and the House of Vitzhum built a temporary Convent house around it with the view of building a stone monastery. The Order experienced a bloom and expa ...
Founded: 1473-1500 | Location: Kadaň, Czech Republic

Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Nicholas

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Nicholas has been since its foundation part of the Cistercian monastery in Žďár nad Sázavou. The Cistercian monastery existed after 1250 thanks to magnate of Křižanov whose name was Přibyslav. Early history of the monastery was described in Cronica domus Sarensis by monk Jindřich Řezbář. The chronicle was written in Lat ...
Founded: 1250 | Location: Zdár nad Sázavou, Czech Republic

Chotesov Abbey

Chotěšov Abbey is a former Premonstratensian nunnery founded between 1202 and 1210 by the Blessed Hroznata and settled by nuns from Doksany Abbey. The new foundation soon acquired wealth and influence, to the envy of the surrounding lordships and territories. In 1421, during the Hussite Wars the nunnery was occupied and destroyed by a Hussite army under Jan Žižka. During the Thirty Years' War, in 1618, the ...
Founded: 1202 | Location: Chotěšov, Czech Republic

Doksany Monastery

The Doksany town is well-known mainly for its monastery established probably already in 1144 by Vladislav II. The heyday of the monastery was in the 13th and 14th centuries. It was completely desolated during the Thirty Years’ War. After that it was rebuilt into the Baroque appearance in 17th century. During the 19th century the monastery became a chateau. Doksany Monastery has been used to film BBC"s The Muskete ...
Founded: 1144 | Location: Doksany, Czech Republic

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Beersel Castle

The moated castle at Beersel is one of the few exceptionally well-preserved examples of medieval fortifications in Belgium. It remains pretty much as it must have appeared in the 15th century. Remarkably, it was never converted into a fortified mansion. A visitor is able to experience at first-hand how it must have felt to live in a heavily fortified castle in the Middle Ages.

The castle was built in around 1420 as a means of defence on the outer reaches of Brussels. The tall, dense walls and towers were intended to hold any besiegers at bay. The moat and the marshy ground along its eastern, southern and western edges made any attack a formidable proposition. For that reason, any attackers would have chosen its weaker northern defences where the castle adjoins higher lying ground. But the castle was only taken and destroyed on one occasion in 1489, by the inhabitants of Brussels who were in rebellion against Maximilian of Austria.

After being stormed and plundered by the rebels it was partially rebuilt. The pointed roofs and stepped gables are features which have survived this period. The reconstruction explains why two periods can be identified in the fabric of the edifice, particularly on the outside.

The red Brabant sandstone surrounds of the embrasures, now more or less all bricked up, are characteristic of the 15th century. The other embrasures, edged with white sandstone, date from the end of the 15th century. They were intended for setting up the artillery fire. The merlons too are in white sandstone. The year 1617 can be clearly seen in the foundation support on the first tower. This refers to restorations carried out at the time by the Arenberg family.

Nowadays, the castle is dominated by three massive towers. The means of defence follow the classic pattern: a wide, deep moat surrounding the castle, a drawbridge, merlons on the towers, embrasures in the walls and in the towers, at more or less regular intervals, and machiolations. Circular, projecting towers ensured that attacks from the side could be thwarted. If the enemy were to penetrate the outer wall, each tower could be defended from embrasures facing onto the inner courtyard.

The second and third towers are flanked by watchtowers from which shots could be fired directly below. Between the second and third tower are two openings in the walkway on the wall. It is not clear what these were used for. Were these holes used for the disposing of rubbish, or escape routes. The windows on the exterior are narrow and low. All light entering comes from the interior. The few larger windows on the exterior date from a later period. It is most probable that the third tower - the highest - was used as a watchtower.