Sunday, July 02, 2006

Zbraslav Chateau

Zbraslav is located at the confluence of the rivers Vltava and Berounka about 12 Km South of the Prague city centre. In 1292 Czech king Wenceslas II founded a Cistercian monastery here and named it Aula Regia (Kings' hall), because he wished it to become a new burial place of Bohemian kings.

Members of the Premislid royal family was buried here during 14th century, the last one was king Wenceslas IV in 1419. Then, in 1420, the Zbraslav monastery and the church of Our Lady with its royal tombs were destroyed by the Hussites.

A new era of the Zbraslav cloister started in the early 18th century, when abbot Wolfgang Lochner called the famous architect Giovanni Santini Aichel to design a new complex of buildings in Baroque style. This work was completed by Frantisek Maxmilian Kanka in 1732.

In 1785 the monastery was abolished and Zbraslav became the property of Walloon noble Joseph de Souvaige, who established a sugar refinery here. Prince Fridrich Öttingen-Wallerstein acquired Zbraslav in the beginning of the 19th century and made it his residence. Since then we speak about the Zbraslav chateau or castle rather than monastery.

The last owners of the Zbraslav chateau have been the Bartons of Dobenin family, who still live here. A part of the chateau is used by the Czech National Gallery since 1939 and houses a permanent exhibition of Asian art.

The photos

The photo above shows the detail of the Zbraslav Chateau's northern front. The photo below was taken from the same place and includes more of the castle garden. I took both pictures in July 2006.

How to get there

Zbraslav is a quarter of Prague now, located on its southern edge along the Vltava Rivere. You can get there from Smíchovské nádrazí (Metro yellow line B) by buses No. 129, 241, 243, 255, 314, 318 or 390 to Zbraslavské námesti, or from Jizní Mesto or Radotín by bus No. 165.

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1 comment:

larryjr said...

There is a Cistercian Monastery in the United States, founded in 1928 by monks of the Austrian Congregation, in which an image of the Virgin Mary with the inscription"thamgtura Aulae Regiae" is venerated. It was presented to the monks by a Czech architect working in Wisconsin, Professor Vladimir Shamberk. The monks are preparing an historical book and would welcome any information about the state of the former monastic church at Zbraslav and if the orginal, medieval painting is still there. Any information which you could suggest would be most helpful.

Thank you,

Larry Reilly, Temple University, Philadelphia Pa.
larryjr@temple.edu