Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday in the Strahov Monastery

I  couldn't have found a better place to stay than this little hotel. The Hotel Monastery in Prague is clean and, by European standards, spacious.  I have a sitting area with a desk, coffee making and refrigeration. Breakfast was generous with yogurt, juice, scrambled eggs, cold cuts, cheese, fruit loaves,
rolls, fresh fruit and cereal. I didn't eat all those things but they were available. Someone complained on  
TripAdvisor about the breakfast.  I can't imagine what more they could have wanted. Water and soft drinks are free in the rooms and beers cost almost nothing.
The Czech Lion lives in the monastery walls.
The bells of the monastery do not ring during the night but start again at 6:00am. There was a chirping bird outside my window at 4:00 this morning.  The Strahov Monastery is beautiful by day or night and I can see it through that very window

The Strahov Monastery was founded in 1140AD by the Premonstratensian  Order.  Except for during the Communist regime, it has been an active monastery for all that time. Eighty monks live there today.
I could not visit the Church today because it is Sunday but I visited the gallery of the Monastery where there are more than 1500 paintings by European artists from 1400 to 1900. The paintings, which belong to the Order, are mostly religious in nature. There are several paintings reproduced from prints of Albrecht Durer by his contemporaries. There is also a temporary exhibit in the cloister of work by the Czech artist, Josef Fiala. These paintings, which are not religious, portray rosy-cheeked Czech people in the outdoors.

The Strahov Library is the second oldest Church library in the Czech Republic. The Theological Hall and the Philosophical Hall are decorated with beautiful frescoes and murals. There is a collection of 250,000 volumes. The oldest manuscript dates from 860 AD.
Behind the hotel is a greenspace, walkway to town and a restaurant with a fantastic  view.
I have tried two restaurants within the walls  of the monastery. Velka Klasterni, where I ate last night was very inexpensive. I had pork goulash with horseradish and a Gambrinus beer in a brewery hall with accordian players. The meal  cost less than 10 euros. For lunch, I went to the  Bella Vista restaurant and had a cheese and charcuterie board with a beer. I couldn't eat it all but it was tasty and cost only 15 euros.  They give the price CZK and euros here. Food will probably cost a lot more when we move to the Intercontinental tomorrow. If I had known that this hotel was so charming and that language was not a big problem here, I would have booked 4 days here instead of 2 here and 2 with the cruise group.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad your hotel worked out -- not surprised, because I sense you're pretty good at researching and you seem to share some of my preferences and flexibility. This place looks absolutely delightful and you're making me think we should branch out and try a visit to Prague . . .

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