History of pharmacy, once a property of Metternichs.
Order Tour Code: C WW5
Spreading in the romantic valley of the Strela River, the former Plasy Cistercian Mnastery (National Cultural Monument) - founded by the Czech Prince Vladislav II before 1146, underwent several developments in the past. The most consequential of them was the adaptation carried out in 1711-1740 according to the plans by J. B. Santini and K.I. Dienzenhofer. The valuable architecture is highlighted by frescoes created by Frantisek Antonin Muller, Jakub Antonin Pink and Josef Kramolin in the chapels and passages of the first storey.
In addition to the convent, this site includes also several other structures, prelate´s residence, Royal Chapel, cloister church and sepulchre of the Metternich noble family in the St. Wenceslas-Church. The convent houses an exhibition showing the history of pharmacy in Plasy, as well as a gallery of the Stretti family (native of Plasy).
Moreover, several Baroque rooms have been recently opened, inclusive of the library.
Plasy huge Cistercian monastery was founded in 1144 and was rebuilt between 1661 and 1739 under the guidance of J. B. Mathey and J. B. Santini and became an important center of Baroque art. After Emperor Joseph II abolished nearly all religious orders, the monastery became the seat of the Princes of Metternich.
Today, the monastery is owned by the state and it is in a rather bad state though it is being slowly restored (and remains opened to public). There are also some regional archives placed there. It is, with its scenic surroundings, an important touristic center.
The reconstruction by the architect J.B. Santini-Aichl
Wide reconstruction work begun in the premises of the Plasy monastery already in 1685, according to the design of J. B. Mathey. He was one of the masters of the architect Santini and he most probably contributed to the first contacts of Santini with the Abbot Eugen Tyttl. In the year 1707, he came to Plasy for the first time upon the recommendation of the Sedlec Abbot Snopek and was even paid for his first works. In the year 1710, the project of fundamental reconstruction of the whole monastery premises was elaborated and approved, concerning not only the convent but also the monumental convent church that was never realized, though. Santini based the whole project on the reconstruction of the original buildings and keeping of the historical tradition, which was the original medieval convent founded with on a level of the Strela river mead. The original building was constantly in a bad condition, especially owing to changes in the sill. That is why Santini used grounding on 5100 piles carrying a grating under the foundations consisting of 500 vertical and 1173 transversal oak beams, when founding the multiply larger new building. The piles were hammered into the sill to the depth of 10-13 ells (6-8 m). The whole wooden structure is constantly inundated by water that is conveyed here via the galleries, thus preventing from the dry rot of wood.
The convent building was built on a regular square ground plan and in addition to its purpose for the convent of monks, there are also the Chapels of St Benedict and St Bernard. The Chapel of St Bernard was completed during Santini's life while the other one was completed much later and only in a simplified form. There are large hall staircases situated in the convent premises. Due to their unusual suspension, they make an impression of overhanging the water surface glistening on a level of the lower foundations below them. Regarding the smaller spiral staircases, the Santini's abstractedly clear form of the spiral curve leading through the space steeply up attracts a visitor's attention.