Ceremonial closing of the IROP project Kladruby Monastery – Life in the Order with the participation of the Minister of Culture Martin Baxa and Pilsen Bishop Tomáš Holub, March 16, 2023 Kladruby.
Kladruby (Tachovsk Region) – From April 1st, visitors to the Benedictine monastery in Kladruby in the Tachovsk Region will have their first look into the previously inaccessible premises of the old and new convent. After two and a half years, the largest reconstruction in the modern history of the monastery ended in the national cultural monument. It came to 165 million crowns, of which over 100 million was a subsidy from the EU. In two circuits, people will be able to learn about the life of the monks and the Windischgrätz family, which bought the area of the closed monastery in the 19th century. Petr Pavelec, director of the České Budějovice branch of the National Monuments Institute (NPÚ), said this to ČTK at the ceremonial end of the reconstruction.
During the 900 years of its existence, the monastery was looted and vandalized several times, and the previous regime, when state estates and forests were located here, also left its mark on its poor condition. The restoration of the monument began at the end of the 1960s, and it received major gradual repairs only in the last 20 years. “I am glad that, thanks to the Life in Order project, we were able to continue the rescue and restoration of this extremely important complex in Europe, parts of which were in a state of disrepair. The construction restoration also brought unexpected archaeological finds,” said the Director General of the NPÚ Naďa Goryczková. In addition to the medieval skeleton grave in the place of the Garden of Eden, research in the convent revealed the remains of a brewery and a malt house from the 19th century.
On the new route called the Monastery, visitors will learn about the life of the monks in the Baroque monastery, learn about their accommodation, meals, spiritual life, work and rest. The route includes a common dining room, a novitiate or rooms representing the activities the Benedictines engaged in. “We will show objects related to book binding, time measurement and cartography”, said the castellan Milan Zoubek. Part of the monastery tour route will also be a visit to the reconstructed paradise garden of the old convent. The gardeners planted 80 types of plants and 450 roses there. There are plants from medieval monasteries, symbolic baroque plants, various types of vegetables, spices and medicines as well as less common species such as mandrake or rhimbab. The highlight of the circuit will be a tour of the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
The Castle circuit will introduce the famous Windischgrätz family, which owned the area between 1825 and 1945. Individual rooms are dedicated to the history of the family, Alfred I and his wife Eleonora, and the economic use of the estate. It also includes a unique princely library with 25,000 volumes.
“The Kladruby Monastery represents hundreds of years of Czech statehood, ecclesiastical and cultural history and represents an exceptional architectural heritage. I am very happy that this historical jewel is being opened to the public again and that people will once again see the beauty of this monument,” said Minister of Culture Martin Baxa (ODS ). According to the castellan, the reconstruction included demanding work, during which the floor levels were lowered, non-original buildings and unsuitable partitions were demolished, and rubble and waste were cleared. The main goal of the work was to rehabilitate the baroque architecture and clean the buildings. Despite the extensive reconstruction that has just been completed, the work on the restoration of the monastery is not over. “For us, this large area is still not in order in terms of construction and restoration. We want to continue that work at least until it looks like it did in the glory days of the 18th century. I think that at this moment we are in the first quarter of the work,” said Pavelec. About a third of the new convention has been repaired so far, the entire west and south wing, the upper floor of the building and other objects, the facades in the courtyard and the like are still to be repaired. Zoubek added.