Želiv Premonstratensian monastery - Želiv, Czech Republic
Posted by: Anneke
N 49° 31.785 E 015° 12.884
33U E 515538 N 5486370
Quick Description: A Premonstratensian monastery in the Vysocina region.
Location: Kraj Vysocina, Czech Republic
Date Posted: 11/21/2010 7:11:49 AM
Waymark Code: WMA5PH
The monastery at the confluence of Trnávka and Želivka rivers was founded in 1139 by Czech bishop Otto, prince Sobeslav and his wife Adléta. It was originally inhabited by Benedictines from the Sázava monastery, but after ten years, in 1149, they were replaced by Premonstratensians from Rhineland in Germany.
In the thirteenth and fourteenth century, the monastery was an important spiritual and economic center of the region. However, it declined during the Hussite wars of the fifteenth century; it was captured and plundered twice and only few monks managed to survive and flee to the town of Jihlava.
The monastery was not restored until 1622. Abbot Kašpar Questenberk from the Premonstratensian monastery at Strahov in Prague bought the premises from its contemporary owner and had both the church and the monastic buildings rebuilt. With Siard Falco as the Abbot, the monastery re-gained its independence and once again became the local center of spirituality and culture. For a long period of time, the Premonstratensians also administered the gymnázium (secondary school) in Havlíckuv Brod.
After the great fire in 1712, the monastery was rebuilt by the famous architect Jan Blažej Santini whose work represents a curious amalgam of the Baroque and Gothic styles.
In 1950 under the Communist regime, the monastery was turned into an internment camp (i.e. prison without trial or sentence) for priests and monks. The abbot Vít Bohumil Tajovský was sentenced to 11 years in prison. From 1957 to 1992 the buildings served as a mental hospital. The Premonstratensians returned in May 1991.
Full name of the abbey/monastery/convent: Kanonie premonstrátů v Želivě
Želiv, Czech Republic
Religious affiliation: Premonstratensian
Date founded/constructed: 1149
Web Site: [Web Link]
Status of Use: Acitvely Used
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