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. Its fame culminated in the 18th century when it was reconstructed in the Baroque style. The monastery was damaged again by bombing at the end of the Second World War.

German Cistercians were expelled after 1945 and in 1950 the government established an internment camp here for monks and priests who were transported to prisons and uranium mines for forced work. Later it became a charity home for nuns. Cistercians got the monastery back after 1989.

Today the monastery is a cultural and tourist centre offering a look into the history from the Romanesque period through the Gothic style to Baroque and provides unrepeatable cultural experiences in a fairy-tale environment.    

Its dominant feature is the large monastery Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which is an originally Romanesque three-nave basilica that was reconstructed in the Baroque style. Due to its length of 76 metres it belongs to the largest religious constructions in Bohemia. The most valuable part of the old monastery is an early Gothic capitular hall with a stone reading pulpit. 

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Founded: 1191
Category: Religious sites in Czech Republic

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