Markétská 1, Praha 6
According to legend, the name of the monastery is derived from the beam that St. Vojtěch and Prince Boleslav II saw in the waters of the Brusnice stream when they decided to found the monastery in 993. It was the first male monastery in Bohemia and was dedicated to the Benedictine Order from its inception. It owes its current appearance to Kryštof Dientzenhofer and his son Kilián Ignác, who built the Baroque complex as we know it today in the middle of the 18th century.
The monastery grounds consist mainly of the convent building, the church of St. Margaret and the extensive monastery gardens with the Vojtěška pavilion, terraces and the remains of greenhouses. Due to its beauty the much-admired Church of St. Margaret was designated as a Minor Basilica by Pope Pius XII in 1948. The convent building houses a valuable monastic library, the magnificent Theresian Hall and a number of beautifully decorated chambers. Ceiling and wall paintings grace the representative spaces of the monastery and the Church of St. Margaret and are the first things to be imprinted in the memory of visitors. These are works of the renowned Baroque masters Cosmas Damian Asam (the convent) and Jan Jakub Stevens (the basilica).
The jewel of the monastery is the Theresian Hall with its remarkable ceiling fresco of the Miracle of the Blessed Gunther (Vintíř). This space was named by Maria Theresa when she visited the monastery in 1753. The hall has a ceremonial atmosphere and a pleasing acoustic. The windows offer a bracing view of the monastery gardens, and the rich decoration is a feast for the eyes, but the earthy colours provide a sense of comfort.
The Theresian Hall is best suited to the sound of chamber ensembles, especially the softness of woodwind instruments or the soft tones of the piano or its predecessors. The tranquillity of the monastery and the splendour of the Baroque construction elevate every moment spent here into a festive occasion.