The oldest friary in Bohemia was founded in Prague Brevnov in 993. It became a monastery of Benedictine monks.There is a complex of Baroque buildings nowadays. You can visit the St. Margaret Basilica there, the prelate building, the Romanesque crypt and the garden with the pavilion Vojteska.
The Brevnov Monastery was founded by Prince Boleslav II. and Prague bishop St. Vojtech. A stone church was built there in the 11 th century. The crypt of the church is preserved under the present Basilica of St. Margaret. This first church was replaced by a Gothic one later.
The Brevnov Monastery was badly damaged during the Hussite Wars and once again by Swedish troops during the Thirty Years´ War. It was fundamentally rebuilt in Baroque style in the first half of the 18 th century. The monastery abbot hired the most important Czech artists of the era: the architects Krystof Dienzenhofer and his son Kilian Ignac Dienzenhofer, painter Petr Brandl, sculptor Karel Josef Hiernle and others.
The gateway at the entrance was built in 1740 and it is adorned with sculptures of St. Benedicte and angels by K. J. Hiernle. The gateway will lead you to the courtyard with the St. Margaret Basilica and neighbouring prelate building.
St. Margaret Basilica
St. Margaret Basilica was built between 1708 and 1735. There is a high altar with paintings by Petr Brandl and the ceiling is decorated with frescoes.
The most important room of the prelate building is the Theresian Hall, called after Maria Theresa, who visited it in 1753. The other halls in the building are decorated with interesting paintings.
Recent history and the present time
The dramatic 20 th century afflicted the Brevnov Monastery seriously. It was occupied by Communist government in 1950 and the abbot was unjustly imprisoned. The monastery declined during the Communist era.
Benedictine monks returned to the Brevnov Monastery in 1990s and they restored the buildings. Sightseeing takes place there nowadays, guides speaking foreign languages are available for groups of at least 20 people.