Founded in 1149 and still a working monastery, the main attraction here is the monastery’s beautiful library, which consists of two large halls (both off-limits to visitors) and a curio-packed hallway connecting them (which is open to the public).
In addition to some beautiful illuminated manuscripts, there are intricate boxes, and an early collection of scientific specimens, including a preserved dodo!
The books are the the thing here, though, shelves and shelves of them, none with titles I could understand.
Especially interesting were the shelves of books with natural wood spines, complete with lichen.
The left-most hall is splendid, with a very detailed roof, globes, reading stands, and at the end (barely visible in the photo above as a box with two Xs on the rear wall), a gilt container for “banned” books. I was curious what, if anything, was currently in the banned box, but educational material was pretty scant.
That statue has malaise
Row after row of time-bleached books about who-knows-what fill the dimly-lit shelves.
Bleached books and sagging shelves
The right-side library room also has a beautiful ceiling fresco, and ornate enclosed shelves containing many more tomes:
The monastery’s chapel is generally not open to the public, but we put our ears to its doors to listen to someone playing its organ.
In addition to the library, the monastery-made beer is a must-try here, although the food is expenstive and touristy – I’d stick to a brew or two and a sausage or the like. The St. Norbert special beer is particularly tasty – I wish I could get it here in the states!
Another interesting diversion here is the Museum of Miniatures, which has a funny little collection of tiny creations. Worth checking out, as it only takes 15 minutes to see everything.
The monastery’s grounds have lovely views over central Prague:
Looking toward Old Town
Tourists enjoying the view
The monastery has a small private vineyard
Prague Castle / Hradcany
Strahov Monastery was one of my favorite places in the Hradcany district – surely worth a couple/few hours! The #22 “tourist express” tram stops right in front.
- Part 1: Vysehrad
- Part 2: Vysehradsky hrbitov (Vysehrad cemetery)
- Part 3: Karluv Most (Charles Bridge)
- Part 4: Vaclavske namesti (Wenceslas Square)
- Part 5: Letecke Muzeum Kbely (Czech Air Force Museum)
- Part 6: Stare Mesto (Old Town)
- Part 7: Staromestske namesti (Old Town Square)
- Part 8: Prazsky orloj (Astronomical Clock)
- Part 9: Josefov (Jewish Quarter)
- Part 10: Vltava River
- Part 11: St. Nicholas Cathedral (Chram sv. Mikulase)
- Part 12: Wallenstein Palace (Valdstejnsky palac)
- Part 13: Kampa Island
- Part 14: Mala Strana street art
- Part 15: Petrin Hill
- Part 16: Mala Strana
- Part 17: Mala Strana house signs
- Part 18: Strahovský klášter (Strahov Monastery) <– You are here
- Part 19: Schwarzenberský palác (Schwarzenberg Palace)
- Part 20: Toy Musuem
- Part 21: St. Vitus Cathedral gargoyles
- Part 22: St. Vitus Cathedral (exterior)
- Part 23: St. Vitus Cathedral (interior)
- Part 24: Prazky Hrad (Prague Castle), I
- Part 25: Prazky Hrad (Prague Castle), II