This extensive monastery complex with over an 800 year old tradition is situated near Marianske Lazne (or Marienbad), just outside the small town of Tepla. Founded by the blessed Hroznata (beatified in 1897) in the year 1193 to make up for the fact that he didn’t take part in one of the Third crusades. The monastery is one of the most important in the country. Part of the complex is baroque and the church boasts a Gothic presbytery and a Romanesque chapel. With 100,000 volumes the monastery library is the second-largest period book repository in the Czech lands and there’s also a park, cemetery and museum. The most important structure here is the Church of The Annunciation, built between 1193 and 1232. The monastery also has its own brewery, barn and granaries.
The monastery has faced many hardships during its long and eventful history. Firstly, it has been affected by many plague epidemics and the onset of the Reformation and also the Thirty Years’ War (from 1618 to 1648). In the latter half of the 17th century (specifically in 1659) some of the buildings of the monastery were destroyed by a fire. Later, the monastery recovered from this unfortunate turn of events. Original structures were repaired and rebuilt, new building were erected.
During the second World War, the cannon was utilized by the Germans and their army to serve its requirements. There was a jail camp in one section and a volunteer maternity facility for Hitler’s army in the other. German members of the order were expelled after the wars end. In 1950, several of the brothers were imprisoned, and the monastery was utilized as a barracks by the Czechoslovakian army. Following the sociopolitical reforms of 1989, the monastery was returned to the premonstratensians and shortly after, the first mass was served. The Tepla canon now has 18 members and administers parishes in western Bohemia.
For more information about the Karlovy Vary Region where this place is located click here.