The 10th annual Church Night gets underway in the Czech Republic on Friday and it’s bigger than ever before. The event, which offers visitors a rare opportunity to get a glimpse of places usually closed to the public, started in 2009 with 25 churches. This year, more than 1,300 churches from all around the country are taking part.
Constantin Kinsky was born in 1961 in Paris, France, to one of the oldest aristocratic families of Bohemia in French exile. Educated in France, he became a successful investment banker and strategic consultant and advised the Czech governments of Josef Tošovský and Miloš Zeman thus helping to save the Czech banking system during the crisis of the late 1990´s.
The Capuchin order has received a setback in its claims to reclaim a monastery at Opočno, The Supreme Court has instructed the local court to deal again with the case about the building in Eastern Bohemia. The court also quashed an earlier ruling transferring ownership from the region to the state. That move opened the way for the religious order to claim back the property under the restitution agreement between churches and the state. The Hradec Králové region has described the latest decision as a breakthrough saying that it could pave the way for the region to remain the owner.
A rare Gothic painting, Madonna of the Golden Crown, was returned to its original place at the Zlatá Koruna monastery in south Bohemia after 78 years on Sunday. The painting was placed in the newly restored Abbot’s Chapel of the monastery. The Madonna of the Golden Crown was painted between 1410 and 1420 and was most likely commissioned by the Cistercian monastery. It was hidden during WWII, after which it was housed at the National Gallery. Over 300 people attended a special mass celebrating its return.
The reserve price of 790 million crowns was offered in an auction of a choice piece of real estate in the centre of Prague on Wednesday. One foreign bidder, whose identity has not been revealed, made the offer for the former monastery building on Náměstí Republiky. The building, oned by the state, has long been largely abandoned. The buyer has 60 days to pay. The building carries a conservation order which could limit its future uses. The monastery was founded by Irish monks in the 16th century.
Premonstratensian monks at the Želiv monastery in the Vysočina region elected Jáchym Jaroslav Šimek their 51st abbot on Thursday. Father Šimek has until now served as an official of the community. The monastery’s previous abbot resigned due to health reasons after 14 years in office. The Želiv monastery was founded in 1139; in 1950, it was closed by the communist authorities and turned into an internment camp for clergymen. It then housed a psychiatric facility until it was returned to the monastic order and reopened as a monastery after the fall of communism in the 1990s.
Hundreds of people came on Saturday to explore the underground passages of the Plasy monastery near Plzeň, in western Bohemia. The underground air and water supply system, which is not normally closed for the public, was built in the 18th century, and is a unique technical monument in the country. The Baroque monastery of the Cistercian order was erected on marshland; its architect, Jan Blažej Santini used thousand of wooden poles to strengthen the building’s foundations.