It may not be one of Prague’s most famous attractions, but the Strahov Monastery (Strahovský klášter in Czech), located between Petrin Hill and the Prague Castle district, is definitely worth a visit. Richly decorated rooms, precious works of art, medieval manuscripts, maps and globes, curious objects and elegant towers are the priceless treasures hidden within this important religious complex.
Its marvellous halls, especially the Philosophical Hall, have been visited over the centuries by countless celebrities, including Admiral Horatio Nelson and Austrian Princess Marie-Louise, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Take a look at the visitors’ log to see if any VIPs of interest have passed through here!
You too may have seen these rooms before: they have been used as a film set for famous Hollywood movies such as ‘The True Story of Jack the Ripper’ and ‘Casino Royale’. While it is true that the film setting paid a fitting tribute to the beauty of these timeless places, we can assure you that seeing them in person has a completely different effect. Not to be missed.
The Strahov Library is undoubtedly the highlight of a visit to the monastery. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, it is the largest monastic library in the Czech Republic with an impressive collection of over 200,000 books, including 3,000 manuscripts.
The Philosopher’s Hall is a beautiful classicist hall decorated with frescoes, including a grandiose one depicting mankind’s search for wisdom.
Smaller and older than the Philosopher’s Hall, the Theological Hall dates back to 1679 and has walls decorated with stucco and other ornaments. On one of the walls one can read the Latin inscription‘Initio sapientiae timor domini’ (the beginning of wisdom is the fear of God).
The cabinet of curiosities is exactly what its name implies: a bizarre collection of objects that seem to have little in common. Sharks and other stuffed animals share space with antique objects, the most famous of which is the miniature coffee service made for Empress Maria Luisa of Habsburg in 1813.
The Strahov Picture Gallery is one of the most important collections in Central Europe of Gothic paintings, works of art from the time of Rudolf II and Baroque and Rococo paintings.
The Strahov Monastery is easily reached from the centre by tram No. 22, the recommended stop is Pohořelec. Those arriving by car should leave it in one of the car parks outside the monastery.
There is no single entrance ticket for the Strahov Monastery, you must purchase tickets for the picture gallery and the library separately.
The religious complex of the Strahov Monastery of the Premonstratensian order was founded in 1140 by Vladislaus II, King of Bohemia, who dedicated it to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The original Gothic and Renaissance abbey was rebuilt in Baroque style in the 18th century. The buildings were used as a monastery until the communist era, when the government closed the convents and imprisoned the monks, who were only allowed to return to Strahov in 1990.
Today the complex houses a library, a picture gallery and the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.