Osek monastery

The year 1191 is synonymous with the foundation of the Osek monastery as is the name of the aristocrat, Milhost. Milhost invited the Cistercian monks from Waldassen as they were renowned craftsmen, builders and farmers, perfectly suited for colonizing the desert border areas. The Cistercians also had their own building works and between 1206 and 1221, the romantic monastery church of theVirgin Mary was built. The temple itself was 76 metres long, and at the time, was one of the largest religious buildings in Bohemia.

During the years 1427 and 1429, the church was damaged by the Husites and also later during the 30 years war with Sweden. The most extensive reconstruction was done at the end of the 17th Century and at the beginning of the 18th Centrury, when the monastery took on its Baroque style.

The interiors were decorated by many famous artists and sculptors such as Kuen, Richter, Corbellini, Liska , Wilmann and Reiner. The architect of the monastery was O. Broggio. At the end of the 2nd World War, the monastery was partially destroyed during Allied bombing raids. After the restoration, the Cistercian community was dismantled and the monastery was used by other orders. In 1991, the monastery once again passed into the hands of the Cistercian order.