One of the oldest and the most important monasteries you can find in Prague is called Strahov Monastery. Crossing over the Charles Bridge towards the Castle, you will notice it as a long white building with two white spires to the left of the Castle.
Duke Vladislav II founded the Strahov Monastery in year 1143. As time went by, the monastery went through many ups and downs. The darkest times came during the Hussite wars, when this wealthy monastery became one of the first targets to be plundered. The first major renovation after the Hussite wars was years 1601-1627. Unfortunately, in 1648 this side of the Vltava River was conquered by the Swedish army (during the 30 year war) and the monastery was looted (losing many valuable pieces from its library). Architect Giovanni Domenico Orsi between 1671-74 built large parts of the interior, which tourists can visit nowadays. This interior consists of three rooms – Theological Hall, Cabinet of Curiosities with Connecting Passage and Philosophical Hall. The Theological Hall and Philosophical Hall are part of the famous Strahov monastic library, which nowadays consists of around 200 000 books from 8th to 20th century.
Strahov Monastery also tried to preserve cultural heritage in the form of valuable paintings from all over Europe. This gallery was founded in year 1834 and nowadays contains about 1500 paintings.
If any of these things wouldn’t really interest you (even though the Library looks like something out of a fairy tale) you can visit Strahov Monastic Brewery, where they keep the tradition of brewing alive. So are you thirsty enough to get some blessed beer?
Strahov Monastery info:
Address: Strahovské nádvoří 132/1, Prague
Map. Ref.: 50.0862122, 14.3895722
Official website: www.strahovskyklaster.cz
Opening hours of Strahov Library:
Opened daily from 9am to 5pm (lunch break 12am-1pm)