Sedlec Abbey

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 Czech Republic
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Sedlec Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery in Sedlec, part of Kutná Hora in the Czech Republic. Founded in 1142, it was the first Cistercian foundation in Bohemia. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.


Sedlec Abbey was founded in 1142 from Waldsassen Abbey in Sedlec as the first Cistercian monastery in Bohemia. The grounds covered by wood and swamp were granted by Miroslav, House of Wartenberg. It flourished under abbot Heinrich Heidenreich, due to silver mining in the region. The abbey was burnt in April 1421 by Hussites led by Jan Žižka, and many monks were killed. The library had been secured shortly before to the Stift Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria. A few monks returned, but it took until 1620 to revive the monastery. It flourished once more after the Thirty Years' War, when several buildings were erected or remodeled. The abbey was dissolved in 1783.


The abbey was originally built in Romanesque style. It was remodel in Gothic style between 1280 and 1320. After the destruction by the Hussites, the buildings were reconstructed at the beginning of the 18th century. The abbey church was dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and St. John. It was built as a basilica with five naves between 1280 and 1330. Destroyed in 1421, it was rebuilt from 1699 to 1707 after designs by Paul Ignaz Bayer and Johann Blasius Santini-Aichel. Another restoration, trying to preserve the original appearance, was performed from 1854 to 1857. The chapel Kostel Všech svatých (All Saints' Chapel), next to the cemetery, was run from 1389 by a Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre. The building dates to around 1400, was rebuilt several times and remodeled in Baroque style in 1710 by Santini-Aichel. It holds in its basement the Sedlec Ossuary.


Štěpán Vácha: Antiquitatis illustre monimentum. Die Restaurierung der Klosterkirche in Sedletz in den Jahren 1700–1709, Umění 56 (2008), pp 384–408 Joachim Bahlcke, Winfried Eberhard, Miloslav Polívka: Handbuch der historischen Stätten. Böhmen und Mähren, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-520-32901-8, pp 564–565 Jiři Kuthan: Die mittelalterliche Baukunst der Zisterzienser in Böhmen und Mähren, München und Berlin 1982: Deutscher Kunstverlag, ISBN 3-422-00738-5, pp 145–163 Kateřina Charvátová, Dobroslav Líbal: Sedlec. In: D. Housková, D. (ed.): Řád cisterciáků v českých zemích ve středověku. Sborník vydaný k 850. výročí založení kláštera v Plasech. Unicornis, Praha 1994, ISBN 80-901587-1-4, pp 38–43
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