Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Abbey Church of the Assumption & St Norbert, Strahov, Hradcany, Prague

This Premonstratensian abbey has a long history dating back to 1140, and the present building may include parts of its Romanesque and Gothic predecessors underneath a baroque makeover of the second half of the C18. Its position has meant it has had to survive fire, sieges, bombardments and an enforced occupation by the Communists 1950-89. Its twin towers and small done are visible from many parts of Prague, alongside the castle hill. The church is only open to a metal screen at the west end where no photography signs abound and are ignored. A man was cleaning the floor but ignored us. The interior is quite something.

However the church is not the main reason people come here as the abbey has a famous library with rare books to which there is an admission charge. Some fiercesome women stood around, no photography allowed here either but after watching other tourists snap a few pictures without a telling off I risked a couple too! It was disappointing to only stand at the entrance to the two rooms again after paying the entrance fee but I am sure you agree that they were worth seeing.

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