Central Bohemia Region > Kutná Hora - Sedlec monastery


Kutná Hora - Sedlec monastery

district: Kutná Hora
municipality: Kutná Hora
address: Zámecká 127
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    The monastery was established by Miroslav, a feudal lord, in 1142.  The abbey was the first Cistercian cloister in Bohemia.  Development of the monastery started with appointing Heidenreich the abbot (1282), who took advantage of one of the largest deposits of silver in Europe discovered in vicinity of the cloister.  Sedlec thereby became the richest monastery in the country and its political importance thus increased, too.  Heidenreich became an important diplomat and an adviser of the king Wenceslas II; and, also, he repeatedly lent high amounts of money to the king.  But unpaid loans together with high taxes resulted in gradual decline of monastic life.  At last, in 1421 the abbey was damaged and burnt down by the Hussites and remained vacant for several decades.  Second rise of the monastery dates back to the end of 17th century under the abbot Jindřich Snopek, who called in an important Baroque architect J.B. Santini.  The abbey was rebuilt in Baroque-Gothic style and the most important part of the complex-the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary-was built, too.  As a result of reforms of the Emperor Joseph I in 1783 the monastery including the church were abolished.  Subsequently, the building was used as an army flour depot; from 1806 it served as a parish church; in 1812 a tobacco manufacture was established there.  In 1819 the demesne was bought by the prince Karel Schwarzenberg; and it was him who had the cemetery Church of All Saints decorated with bones of more than 30 thousand victims of plaque (1318).  Nowadays, the Ossuary is the most popular part of the monastery.

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    GPS: 49° 57'35.603"N, 15° 17'25.263"E

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