Kadan Franciscan Monastery

Kadaň, Czech Republic

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 expansion in Bohemia particularly after the visit of Saint John Capistran.

The monastery was built in several periods between 1473 and 1500. The sanctuary of the church with the quadripartite rib vault was built first and it was dedicated by the Hierapolitan bishop and the auxiliary bishop of Regensburg, Johann Ludwig in 1480. The three-aisled nave with sexpartite rib vault was finished in 1493 and dedicated by the bishop of Kamień Pomorski, Benedikt of Valdštejn. All the monastery was probably completed by 1500. The walls of the church were decorated with abundant Gothic and Renaissance paintings that are now being restored. The first presumptions show an affinity with the Lucas Cranach school.

In 1481 the monastery was handed over to Jan Hasištejnský z Lobkovic, who continued its development and is buried there. Its development reached its peak in 1522 when the provincial Franciscan school was established. However, the monastery was abolished in 1564 in connection with the stormy spread of Lutheranism in the area. It was soon re-established by Jiří Popel z Lobkovic, but was corrupted again after the 1618 uprising.

A revival did not come until the second half of the 17th century, when the buildings were renovated and the church received new furniture and fixtures. The 18th century brought several unfavourable events. French soldiers of the anti-Habsburg coalition used the church as their shelter while withdrawing after they had been driven from Prague by the army of Maria Theresia in 1742. The church became a witness to a bloody exchange of gunfire. The riddled Baroque door still evokes those moments.

During World War II the Franciscans had to surrender half of their monastery to the Wehrmacht for Hitlerjugend needs. Communists closed the monastery in 1950 and it was used as a record office's depositary and got dilapidated due to insufficient maintenance. In 1991 the monastery was given back to Franciscans but they passed it over to the favour of Litoměřice diocese in 1994. The diocesan officials entered into the agreement with the Municipal Office to lease the monastery to the town of Kadaň. The municipality has been giving means to reconstruct the valuable interior and wall frescos. In 1999 the newer parts of the buildings were dedicated to the Elementary Music, Dancing and Fine Arts School and a permanent exhibition of mining was opened in the cellars. The Municipal Museum was opened in May 2004.



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Founded: 1473-1500
Category: Religious sites in Czech Republic

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User Reviews

Jan Mindžak (21 months ago)
Doporučuji skvělý výlet!
Hanka Červinková (22 months ago)
Úžasné místo na klidnou procházku i pro návštěvu kulturních akcí. Klášter je národní kulturní památka a usiluje o místo na seznamu UNESCO, takže určitě stojí za návštěvu. Má zajímavou historii a spoustu krásných legend. V zahradách kláštera je vinice, chmelnice, chovají se zde kozy a prasátko. Pořádají se zde akce jako vinobraní, pivobrani, koncerty nebo divadlo. Procházka je tu stejně pěkná v zimě jako v létě.
Jiří Bartoš (22 months ago)
Skvost Kadaňe, pro fotografy dobré místo, pokud chcete do kláštera, budete mít jistě dobrého průvodce.
POAFRICE .COM (2 years ago)
Trochu opomíjené, ale myslím, že jedno z nejpůsobivějších míst v Kadani. Historický skvost v celém širokém okolí
Connie Lyng Sylvestersen (2 years ago)
It was a big and wellkept monastery, but the guide didn't speak much english and no german so I guess we missed a lot of information.
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