Famous Ceilings: Strahov Monastery

Written by Milan Jara

Unlike many other famous sites that boast gorgeous ceilings, the Strahov Monastery in the Czech Republic houses several gorgeous rooms with impressive and breathtaking ceilings. A combination of fine paintings and stucco work adorn the ceilings of many of its rooms. In addition to the amazing artwork, it also happens to house over 200,000 volumes of priceless and fantastically rare books from many periods and parts of the world. The building has survived wars, disasters, and a complicated history, and today, it's one of the oldest surviving Premonstratensian monasteries in the world.

The Beautiful Ceilings of the Libraries

Completed in 1679, the Theological Hall boasts elaborate stucco work and gorgeous paintings. It is possibly the most famous room of the monastery, because of its ornate white stuccos. This room has been dubbed Theological Hall because of its many copies and versions of biblical texts. Another famous ceiling is nearby in the Philosophical Hall. With its ornate dark wood shelves and huge, leather-bound books, you may not want to look up at first. But when one does, a visitor will see a heavenly painting on the ceiling, complete with depictions of angels and spiritual thinkers. Also in the monastery is the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, which is further covered in paintings and stuccos.

Strahov Monastery: Then and Now

The monastery was founded in 1140. Since then, this marvelous monastery has been damaged, remade, remodeled, added onto, and restored. The monastery had to survive the Hussite wars, the Thirty Years' War, fires, book burning, and bombardments. Most of the fascinating artwork mentioned was created from the mid-1600s to the late 1700s by enthusiastic abbots. After the communist regime was gone, the monastery began reconstruction, which continued well into the 1990s. Today, it's the favorite destination of visitors to the Czech Republic. It is also the favorite location for many film productions, such as the recent James Bond film, Casino Royale.


- Milan Jara

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