There’s something about abbeys or old monasteries that never fails to conjure up inspiration. Perhaps it’s the ornate architecture, the detailed pieces, and the great artworks that dot its corners, halls, and walls. Most of the time, the common detail that visitors love is the history behind each of them—the wars that destroyed them, the constant rebuildings, the different artists who devoted their lives to making them stand for hundreds or even thousands of years.
The Strahov monastery Prague is one of these kinds of places. This Premonstratensian abbey (a Roman Catholic religious order of canons founded in Premontre in northern France) could be found in Strahov in the city of Prague, Czech Republic. It was discovered by Henry Zdík, bishop of Olomouc, in 1149.
This place served as a huge space for knowledge and faith; flourishing with the ones who devoted their time inside it. It has been greatly damaged by fire and therefore needed rebuilding, and after some renovations and redecorations, the building burgeoned until it was raided by the Hussites in 1420, when the monastery burned and got destroyed. The abbey continued to face a lot of damage during the Thirty Years’ War. It was sometime in the late 17th century and early 18th century that the monastery was expanded and mostly had a Baroque architectural style.
Today, the abbey stands proudly, offering visitors magnificent halls and rooms that have stunning architecture and a colorful history etched on its walls. One of the halls that drive people to going to the monastery is the Strahov Theological Hall, a space built sometime between 1671 and 1679. This is the home of the Strahov Library Prague and its breathtaking frescoes.
The Strahov Theological Hall is simply too beautiful for words—both its content and design tell a great history that is simply difficult to parallel. This is a library that contains more than 200,000 books and religious texts, including different editions of the Bible. As if the collection of the hundreds of thousands of books wasn’t not enough, this hall also has a beautiful frescoed ceiling, which reportedly took four years to complete. Being here will give visitors not only something that is amazing to the eye, but pieces of historical literature that’s good for knowledge as well.
source: by Jorge Ryan from picasaweb.google.com
Another known hall in this abbey is the The Philosophical Hall, which has beautiful frescoes that depict the history of humankind, created by Austrian painter Franz Anton Maulbertsch. This part of the monastery also has an impressive collection of books on a variety of topics sic as astronomy, philosophy, mathematics, history, and other interesting academic subjects.
source: by feefs from picasaweb.google.com
The Strahov Church is also a must-see. This part of the monastery has faced many destructions, but has continued to stand tall. Originally a Romanesque basilica, this church has had many reconstructions—from Romanesque to Gothic to Renaissance to Baroque, it now stands with impressive frescoes and paintings inside, including sculptures by Ignác Platzer and wonderful works by Neunhertz. It is also home to the organ that Mozart played when he visited the monastery in 1787, so being here would sure teach visitors a thing or two about art and history.
source: by Mary Shaughnessy from picasaweb.google.com
The Strahov monastery is located about 1.5 kilometers from the breathtaking Prague Castle, so you have another great Prague landmark to enjoy once you finish looking around the monastery. Prague is a city filled with amazing structures, and you sure will not run out of things to see here.