Teplá Abbey is a Premonstratensian abbey in the western part of Bohemia, included in the Archdiocese of Prague. It was founded in 1193 by the blessed Hroznata, a Bohemian nobleman (d. 1217). The first monks came from the Abbey of Strahov in Prague.
The present monastery building was erected by Abbot Raimund Wilfert II (1688-1724); the library was built by Abbot Gilbert Helmer (since 1900). The Romanesque church, with additions in the style of the transition to the Gothic, is one of the oldest churches of Bohemia. The high altar of the church was sculpted by Josef Lauermann and Ignatius Platzer in 1750. After Hroznata was beatified in 1897, his reliquary casket was moved to the apse of the church for display. The original burial place of Hroznata is marked by on the floor before the main altar, where his original sarcophagus also stands.
Plenteous monastery activity is shown in the literature that is defined by its rich collection of prints of different nature in the monastic library.
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.