Zdar nad Sazavou
Cistercian Monastery Complex
1706 - 1722, conversions and new buildings; investor Vaclav Vejmuva, Abbot of Cistercian Monastery in Zdar nad Sazavou
The Cistercian Monastery in Zdar nad Sazavou was founded on the border of Bohemia and Moravia after the arrival of the first monks in 1252. Classical architecture of the Order of St. Bernard is reflected particularly in the monastic plan of the Basilica of the Assumption. An educated and energetic Vaclav Vejmluva is chosen as the leader at the beginning of the 18th century. After the economic restoration of the monastery, he decides to carry out an overall structural reconstruction. After first contacting Jan Santini Aichel, he invites the young architect to Zdar nad Sazavou and gives him the project for reconstruction of the abbey. Santini implements modifications to individual naves and designs monumental organ lofts in the front of the original Gothic transept altar. The entire area is completed with the main altar using an altarpiece by Leopold Willmann that is older, but is extremely high quality. The mutual friendship between the educated Abbot and the original architect logically lead to further cooperation. If we quote Zdenek Kalista, this led to Zdar nad Sazavou becoming the Baroque-Gothic centre. After the first phase, various contracts followed in a quick succession. It is clear that his patrons did not limit Santini’s ingenuity. Construction of a small cemetery designated for potential victims of plague, which never intervened in the area of the monastery, was symbolically built in the shape of a human skull with three chapels. Because of the radical expansion of space, it was decided that an aristocratic academy would be constructed in the area of the monastery. Santini designed the layout of the main building of the academy and extremely stylistically simple stables. He also created a number of other farm buildings for the monastery in Zdar nad Sazavou. A farmstead built in the shape of a lyre, a monastery guesthouse called U Tri hvezd, a hospital built in the shape of an isosceles cross, and an inn in Ostrov nad Oslavou based on the symbolism of the letter W as a reminder of the name of Abbot Vaclav Vejmluva. The monastery prelature completed the space between the Gothic part of the monastery, the original old abbey and the converted convent church building. It was designed as an octahedron with two lower rectangular wings. In the interior of the building, the main hall staircase mainly attracts your attention.