Emmaus Monastery

Emmaus Monastery information

Prague , Czech Republic
Street Vyšehradská 49
Getting there
tram 18, 24
Opening hours
8am-6pm Mon-Fri, services noon Mon-Fri, 10am Sun
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Lonely Planet review

Founded for a Slavonic Benedictine order at the request of Charles IV, and originally called Na Slovanech, the Emmaus Monastery dates from 1372. During WWII the monastery was seized by the Gestapo and the monks were sent to Dachau concentration camp, then in February 1945 it was almost destroyed by a stray Allied fire-bomb. Some monks returned after the war, but the reprieve was short-lived: in 1950 the communists closed down the monastery, and tortured the prior to death. It was finally restored to the Benedictine order in 1990, and reconstruction has been going on ever since. The monastery’s Gothic Church of Our Lady (kostel Panny Marie), badly damaged by the 1945 bombing, reopened in 2003, though the swooping, twin spires were added back in the 1960s. The atmospheric Gothic cloisters have some fine, but faded, original frescoes dating from the 14th century, salted with bits of pagan symbolism. Across Vyšehradská is the baroque Church of St John of Nepomuk on the Rock (kostel sv Jana Nepomuckého na Skalce), built in 1739 and one of the city’s most beautiful Dientzenhofer churches.