- Patočková 72
- 220 406 111
- gardens 5.30-8am & 5-8.30pm Mon-Fri, 5.30am-8.30pm Sat & Sun, tours 10am & 2pm Sat & Sun, plus 4pm May-Sep
Lonely Planet review for Břevnov Monastery
Břevnov Monastery is the Czech Republic’s oldest Benedictine monastery, founded in 993 by Boleslav II and Bishop Vojtěch Slavníkovec (later to be canonised as St Adalbert). The two men, from powerful and opposing families intent on dominating Bohemia, met at Vojtěška spring, each having had a dream that this was the place where they should found a monastery. Its name comes from břevno (beam), after the beam laid across the spring where they met. The present baroque monastery building and the nearby Basilica of St Margaret (Bazilika sv Markéty) were completed in 1720 by Kristof Dientzenhofer. During the communist era the monastery housed a secret-police archive; Jan Patočka (1907–77), a leading figure of the Charter 77 movement, who died after interrogation by the secret police, is buried in the cemetery behind the monastery. In 1993 (the 1000th anniversary of the monastery’s founding) the restored 1st floor, with its fine ceiling frescoes, and the Romanesque crypt, with the original foundations and a few skeletons, were opened to the public for the first time. The church, crypt and monastery can be be visited only by guided tour (minimum 10 people for a tour in Czech, 20 people in English or German), but at weekends you can wander the gardens at your leisure.