Photographer's Note

In 1213 King Premysl Otakar I assigned Broumov, a rocky headland in North East Bohemia, to the Benedictine Order of Brevnov near Prague. A Benedictine priory was established in Broumov under the jurisdiction of the Benedictine Abbacy in Brevnov. A monastery was built on the site of the former citadel together with a monastery church dedicated to St.Adalbert (St. Vojtech). During the Hussites Wars the Benedictine monastery in Brevnov was burned down and the abbot together with other members of the Order took refuge in the monastery in Broumov. This move increased the significance of the town of Broumov. The Hussites besieged Broumov but they failed to take over the town.
The migration of the monks from Brevnov to Broumov brought about the cultural and economic growth of the town and of the surrounding countryside.
The Bohemian phase of The Thirty Years' War ended with a victory for the Catholics and better days were ahead for the Benedictines. The abbacy under the abbots Tomas Sartoria (1663-1700) and Otomar Daniel Zinke (1700-1738) reached a very good economic status and a magnificent building activity took place. The Gothic church of St.Adalbert was rebuilt in Baroque style by the Italian master builder Martin Allia. Other churches and buildings were reconstructed and built after the designs of K.I Dietzenhofer and C. Lurago.
In 1948 some Czech- American Benedictines of St.Prokop abbacy in Lisle, Illinois came to live for some time in the monastery in Broumov with their Prior P.John Cherf. After 1950 the monastery was used as a "concentration camp" for priests and monks of different orders. The communist regime turned monasteries into prisons to be used for their own purposes. Monasteries were plundered and pillaged and clergymen were persecuted and punished for preaching their religion. Priests, monks and nuns lived in very poor conditions and they were forced to work in industries and agricultural farms.
At present the monastery building is vacant. It is being considered as a convent for Benedictine nuns. This move will definitely reinstate the monastic life that was once in this remarkable place and so preserve this unique religious monument. This monastery is undisputable exceptional.

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Additional Photos by Wieslaw Krajewski (wkraj) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 137 W: 1 N: 85] (1268)
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