Benedictine Abbey of St. Wenceslaus - Broumov, Czech Republic
Posted by: Anneke
N 50° 35.168 E 016° 19.987
33U E 594372 N 5604650
Quick Description: A benedictine monastery founded in the fourteenth century by Benedictines from Brevnov monastery in Prague.
Location: Kralovehradecky kraj, Czech Republic
Date Posted: 7/9/2011 5:11:15 AM
Waymark Code: WMBZWA
In 1213, the Broumov region was donated to Brevnov Benedictines by king Premysl Otakar I. Soon after 1300, during the reign of abbot Bavor, Broumov became a seat of a provost and a monastery with a Gothic church dedicated to st. Wenceslaus was built.
The cultural and economical importance of Broumov increased during the Hussite Wars, when the Brevnov monastery was burnt down and several monks died in the fire (on May 20, 1420). Abbot Mikuláš II and several other monks then relocated to Broumov and brought with them a number of valuable objects. The Hussites sieged Broumov as well, but they never managed to capture the town. However, they did a lot of harm to the region – for example, they burnt Merglin, a parish priest in Radkow, to death because he would not give up his faith.
The monastery flourished again after 1620. During the reign of abbots Tomáš Sartorius (1663-1700) and Otmar Daniel Zinke (1700-1738), the church and the monastic building were rebuilt in the Baroque style. Notable architects Martin Allio of Loewenthal, Kryštof Dientzenhofer and Kilian Ignac Dientzenhofer led the construction works. The Broumov abbey was also famous for its grammar school (gymnázium), dating back to the fourteenth century. Many important historical and cultural figures studied here.
In 1939, the Nazis closed down the school and, for political reasons, divided the Brevnov – Broumov abbey, which until then had one abbot, into two subjects. Due to anti-German moods after WW2, the German monastic community (with abbot Dominik Prokop) was expelled and settled down in Augustinian monastery at Rohr in Bavaria. In 1946, an attempt to bring Czech American Benedictines from st. Prokopius Abbey in Lisle IL was made, but after the communist coup in 1948, their community was evicted from Czechoslovakia as well. From 1950, the monastery served as an internment camp for monks and later nuns, who were forced to live in inhuman conditions and work in factories and agriculture in the Broumov region. Only after 1968, when, thanks to political changes, the sisters were allowed work in homes for the elderly and hospitals all over Czechoslovakia, did the situation improve. Just Benedictine nuns stayed in Broumov and baked hosts for Bohemian and Moravian parishes.
In 1990, the nuns relocated to Benedictine convents in Moravia and the Broumov monastery remained vacant. At present time, it is an independent unit without a monastic community, administered by the Brevnov Abbey in Prague.
Full name of the abbey/monastery/convent: Benediktinské opatství sv. Václava v Broumově
Broumov, Czech Republic
Religious affiliation: Benedictine
Web Site: [Web Link]
Status of Use: Inactive or vacant
Date founded/constructed: Not listed
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