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Monasteries and pilgrimage sites in the CR. Part 3 – other Bohemian monasteries

photo: Sázavský klášter (czechtourism.com)

The territory of the Czech Republic, a country with long Christian traditions, offers countless religious monuments, out of which there are numerous monasteries and pilgrimage sites that we will focus on and introduce in this series.

The previous parts of the series were dedicated to monasteries in the territory of the capital city of Prague. This part will present Bohemian monasteries outside Prague.

Monasteries outside Prague
The best-known monasteries outside Prague include the Sázava monastery (Map), the monastery in Vyšší Brod (Map), and monasteries in Plasy (Map), Kladruby (Map), Osek (Map), Broumov (Map), and Olomouc .

The Sázava monastery is located in the town Sázava near Benešov. This original Benedictine monastery was later rebuilt into a chateau. The oldest records of the monastery go back to 1032. It was founded by prince Prokop, who wanted to develop and preserve the tradition of Cyril and Methodius, making the Sázava Monastery one of the centres of Slavic education. The monastery was the centre of the Old Church Slavonic liturgy in the 11th century but the Old Church Slavonic monks were banished from the monastery in 1096 and all of their books and manuscripts were destroyed. In 1785, the Sázava Monastery was cancelled within the Josephine Reforms and consequently rebuilt into a country mansion of chateau character. The monastery has been in the hands of the state since 1951, and it was proclaimed a national cultural monument in 1998.

The Cistercian monastery Vyšší Brod belongs among one of the most significant cultural monuments in southern Bohemia. The large monastery complex is located about 30 km south of Český Krumlov. The monastery was founded by Vok of Rožmberk in 1259 with the aim of establishing a family vault of the Rožmberk Family. The monastery saw several periods of dilapidation; it was burned down during the Hussite Wars and the monastery became desolate after the monks were expelled during the Second World War. The Cistercian Order returned to the monastery in 1989 and have begun gradually reconstructing the building. The complex also includes the Post Museum.

Plasy monastery is a Cistercian monastery in the town of Plasy located 25 kilometres north of Plzen in western Bohemia. It was founded by prince and later King Vladislaus II of Bohemia in 1144. It was burned down by the Hussites, dissolved during the reign of Joseph II and later owned by Prince Chancellor K. W. Metternich. Since 1945, a significant part of the former monastery building complex is administrated by the state. The monastery has been a national cultural monument from 1995 and is considered one of the gems of Czech baroque architecture.

Kladruby monastery is a former Benedictine monastery in Kladruby, located about 7 km from the city of Stříbro in western Bohemia. It was founded by Bohemian prince Vladislaus I in 1115. At the beginning of the 14th century it belonged among the richest monasteries in the Bohemian Kingdom. However, it was cancelled in 1785 due to the reform of Joseph II and the monastery buildings consequently served as stores for gunpowder, and later as the general military hospital and as a barracks and infirmary during the Napoleonic Wars. Today, it is administrated by the National Heritage Institute. It is a cultural national monument.

The Osek monastery was until recently a functioning Cistercian monastery located in northern Bohemia. It was founded around the year 1206 but the monastery has undergone a baroque reconstruction since then. However, gothic and roman brickwork has been preserved. The monastery is dominated by the Virgin Mary Temple, which was reconstructed in the baroque style by Italian architects in the 17th century. Today the monastery is a cultural and touristic centre.

The Broumov monastery consists of a complex of baroque buildings designed by significant architects of the time. This Benedictine monastery is included in the list of National Cultural Monuments of the Czech Republic due to its architectonic and cultural value. The foundation of the monastery dates back to the beginning of the 13th century. In 1999, a unique copy of the Torino Canvas from 1651 was discovered in the abbatial church of St Adalbert. The greatest attractions of the monastery complex include the rarely preserved monastery library, which stores about 17,000 titles.

Author: Romana Kuncová
Added: 06.01.2013

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