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

Jana Panenková (5 months ago)
Maintained large complex that is worth a visit. There are wonderful altars in it. Too bad there is a ban on photography.
MARTIN JANIUREK (5 months ago)
Historická památka Kadaně, která rozhodně stojí za vaši návštěvu. Ke klášteru je ideální dojít pěšky od kadaňského hradu po nábřeží Maxipsa Fíka, jde o fyzicky nenáročnou procházku po nábřeží Ohře. Samotný interiér kláštera je možné shlédnout prostřednictvím dvou komentovaných prohlídek. Zvolili jsme druhý okruh Život v klášteře, který vám představí život mnichů a význam řádu pro město. Součástí tohoto okruhu je také návštěva kostela, který se v současnosti rekonstruuje (přístup je umožněn i během rekonstrukce). Unikáty kláštera, nástěnné malby a sklípkovou klenbu, uvidíte jak v prvním, tak ve druhém okruhu. Kromě samotného kláštera můžete navštívit i františkánské zahrady, kde narazíte kromě vinic i na několik domácích zvířat. K vidění jsou kozy, poníci i prase kadeřavé jménem Čenda. Celý areál vybízí k posezení a relaxaci! Pokud vás neláká prohlídka, přijďte si jen tak odpočinout do zahrad. Pití i drobné občerstvení nabízí v areálu františkánských zahrad Konírna, která je otevřena od května do září. Na tomto místě bych velice rád poděkoval našemu průvodci za zasvěcený a velmi zajímavý výklad.
Václav Kotrc (5 months ago)
Krásný klášter, dýchne na vás kus romantiky. Klášterní zahrada přímo vybízí ke krásné procházce, případě ke klidnému rozjímání. V zahradě si na své přijdou také děti (malý dětský koutek, zvířata)
Jakub Šrajer (2 years ago)
Good experience, very nice guided tours.
Richard Neugebauer (2 years ago)
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Muslim Era

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Modern history

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