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Broumov: The Benedictine Monastery

 
photo:  (czechtourism.cz)
 

King Premysl Otakar II donated the Broumov hollow to the Brevnov Benedictines in 1213.

 

After the year 1322 Benedictine provostship began in Broumov and at the place of the Gothic castle construction of the Benedictine monastery commenced.

The original monastery church was built in the Gothic style and was devoted to St. Adalbert. In the cause of the Hussite wars the monastery was besieged several times, but thanks to its fortifications it never was taken.

The present-day look is the result of the Baroque reconstruction from the years 1728-33, based on the project of Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer. He is also the author of the interior design: the prelature, refectory and library, realized by distinguished artists of Prague Baroque. The Abbot´s Church of St. Adalbert is decorated with frescoes by Jan Jacob Steinfels, depicting the life of St. Adalbert; altar paintings by Vaclav Vavrinec Reiner and sculptures by Vaclav Matej Jäckl.

The monastery Gymnasium played a significant role in the pre-Hussite times. The first Prague archbishop, Arnost of Pardubice, famous priest and patriot Bohuslav Balbín and writer Alois Jirasek all studied here.

After World War II, German monks were partly evacuated and settled in the Bavarian Rohr; the remaining monks had to leave the monastery.

Starting in 1950, the monastery functioned as a concentration camp for priests and friars of various orders. It was one of numerous prisons established by the communists for that purpose.

In 1990, the monastery was given back to the Benedictine order, but Benedictine monks do not live there now. There are about 20 in the Czech Republic and their center is in Prague Brevnov. In the future the place will turn into a convent for Benedictine nuns.

Nowadays, the complex is open to the public. During the tour one can see the unique replica of the Tourine canvas from the year 1651. The Vamberec mummies of monks, organ-players, burghers and other important personalities are kept in the underground of the monastery. The exposition continues via the church, sacristy with precious inlayed furniture and refectory, where there is an exhibition of  chasubles. One of them is decorated with Czech garnet.

There is a large library with a total of 17,000 books, the exposition of old prints, early Bibles, and the abbot´s gallery with paintings by Peter Brandl and Molitor.

For further information:
www.broumov.net (in Czech, English, German, Polish)

 

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Author:
 
Added: 01.01.2010
 
 
 

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