The Museum of Czech Literature – Strahov Monastery

Photos: archive of the building, Martin Bělohradský (OHP)

Address: Strahovské nádvoří 1, Praha 1 - Hradčany
Year: 1143 (founding)
Architects: Giovanni Domenico Orsi, Jean Baptiste Mathey, James Schödel, Anselmo Martino Lurago, Ignatius Jan Nepomuk Palliardi (the authors of reconstructions)

The Museum of Czech Literature (MCL) is placed in the premises of Strahov Monastery since 1952. It remained as the tenant of the premises, allowing access to baroque hall of Božena Němcová, which formerly served as the abbot´s refectory. The ceiling frescoes with scenes of celebration at Balthazar were created by Siard Nosecký in 1727, the Strahov´ s Premonstratensian and baroque painter.

The Strahov Monastery was founded on the initiative of the bishop of Olomouc Jindřich Zdík, by Duke of Bohemia Vladislav II in 1143. The monastery has undergone several renovations and reconstructions during its existence. The building went through Gothic renovations after a fire in 1258. A significant late-Renaissance style reconstruction occurred in 1614 and was completed in 1626.

Reconstruction activities in the early baroque style were carried out subsequently. For example, the new library hall under the leadership of Giovanni Domenico Orsi was built during the years 1671–1674. The southern part of the convent and the abbey, designed by Jean Baptiste Mathey, were reconstructed at the same time. Jakub Schödel and Anselmo Martino Lurago participated in the improvements after 1742. The Late Baroque – or rather the early classicist concept of the Philosophical Hall façade – was made by Ignatius Jan Nepomuk Palliardi during the years 1783–1785. The Premonstratensian order owned and took care of the complex over the centuries. The building was confiscated by the state in 1950 and restituted to order in 1990.