St Agnes of Bohemia Convent (together with neighbouring St Francis Church) is the oldest Gothic building and one of the most famous and significant convents in Bohemia. Now it’s the National Culture Heritage of the Czech Republic.
St Agnes of Bohemia Convent is a complex of two main buildings – the convent of Poor Clares and a small Franciscan monastery. You can find there also St Francis Church, the Chapel of St Mary Magdalene, St Agnes’s private oratory, St Barbora’s Chapel and Premyslid’s mausoleum of Holy Saviour. St Agnes of Bohemia Convent is situated in the Old Town in the centre of Prague.
The convent and the church were built between 1231-34. The first women came to the convent in autumn 1233 – five nuns from Italian Assisi and seven Bohemian noblegirls. They belonged to the Poor Clares (also called The Order of Poor Ladies) founded by Saints Clare of Assisi and Francis of Assisi in 1212 on Franciscan principles. In 1234 St Agnes of Bohemia, the daughter of Bohemian king Premysl Otakar I, entered the convent and became its abbess. The king Wenceslas I. and later on the Pope, took the convent under their protection and gave it many previleges. At that time, the convent was of the most modern buildings in Prague.
The nuns left the convent during the Hussite’s movement. The convent, as many others, was abolished in 1782 and since then the building decayed. If it hadn’t been for the union for the renovation of the convent, the complex would have been demolished. The renovation works have given the convent its original look.
St Agnes of Bohemia Convent is now in possesion of the National Gallery in Prague. The gallery displays there medieval and early Renaissance art. Learn more about exhibitions at St Agnes of Bohemia Convent in Museum Section.
It’s said that the Clarisses used to make an elixir called swollow water from an old recepy they got from a poor Polish noblewoman. The nuns sold the elexir to people for a symbolic price or they gave it to them for free. After the convent was abolished, one nun only knew the secret recepy. Unfortunately, she never revealed the secret to anybody else and it died with her. No one was ever successful to make the elixir again.
U milosrdnych 17, Prague
How to get there:
Go by metro to Staromestska station (green line A) and than continue by tram no.17 to stop Pravnicka fakulta. Or go by metro to Namesti Republiky (yellow line B) and continue by tram no. 5, 8, 14 to Dlouha trida.
Every day (except Monday) 10:00 – 18:00