Sázava Monastery

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Sazava Monstery

The oldest church privy to the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist and the first simple dwellings of Slavic monks built in the 30s of the 11th century were made of wood logs and timbers. According to archaeological records the center of this monastery was located in the middle of today’s monastery buildings.

The first stone building was the church in 1070 built on a Greek cross to honour St. Cross. Slavic monks did not make it for themselves  but for the needs of the people who settled in the vicinity.

To this day you can admire the foundations of the house located at the present day Northern gardens. Abbot Božetěch Romanesque started reconstruction of the original wooden church into an imposing basilica at the end of the 11th century. When he finished the eastern end of the crypt of St. Cosmas and Damian he left it ordained. It was in the year 1905.

A generous building that had two towers with a Belfry but, as a whole, it remained unfinished. The romanesque church became a beautifully painted, three-aisled basilica and the simple wooden buildings were replaced by new stone houses.

In the second half of the 13th century the next big development in the Gothic style began. It culminated , in the 14th century, during the reign of the Luxembourg family and the reign of Emperor Charles IV . The monastery was forcibly closed during the  Hussite wars in the 15th century. The Gothic Revival brought adjustments to the church where the remains of  St. Prokop, founder of the monastery lay. He was canonized in 1204.

The Hussite wars destroyed many monasteries in Bohemia but not this one. Although the monks were expelled in 1421 and the monastery looted, the church with the tomb of St. Prokop and the monastic buildings remained. However, after the war they were, for more than 200 years,  in the hands of  rich secular lords.

The New Monastery boom occurred after the Thirty Years War in the mid 17th century. Benedictines, at least partially, reclaimed their property and Abbot  Nigrýn started the restoration of the church in Baroque style.

The monastery was closed in 1785 by Josef II. The Abbey and it’s manor became the property of the secular castle owners. They made ​​the last changes aimed at adapting the building to be more comfortable for living 

Today Sazavske Monastery is like an open book of artistic styles of architecture since 11th century until now. It is reflecting the millennial history of our country

Part of the tour around Sazava monastery is a visit to the holy place privy to St. Prokop.

Visitors or pilgrims will see the places where their ancestors were going for centuries to find healing and spiritual strengthening. Here in early days  grew an important spiritual center and the center of Slavic education and literature. It is a tour through Czech history , architecture and art.

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