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Church of St. Catherine with Franciscan Monastery and Little Monastery

kostel sv kateriny1

In 1478, Jindřich IV founded a church and built a monastery and then gave it to the Franciscans. In 1619, the Franciscans were expelled by the Protestants and the church was set on fire. It was reconstructed by Vilém Slavata. In 1625, the Chapel of St. Barbara was completed on the northern side of the church, which protrudes from the building with a pentagonal ending just like the church’s presbytery (the wall paintings in the Chapel are by F. Reš). The chapel adjoins the monastery’s east hall; the monastery was completed in 1644. Two rondelle-type chapels were added to the southern side of the nave – the chapel of St. Anthony of Padua in 1662 and the chapel of St. Portiuncula in 1674 – 1675 (the famous Jindřichův Hradec funfair called „porcinkule“, held on the first Sunday in August, has been connected to this chapel till this day). The chapel of St. Portiuncula is further away from the church wall and is connected to the church by a short hallway. Inside, it is richly decorated with early-Baroque stucco strips and paintings of the Virgin Mary by G. Tencalla. The remains of St. Theodore were brought here in 1682. In 1672, a portico on four Tuscan columns was built. The main altar in the nave was built in 1804. The sacristy contains carved cabinets from around 1680 with pictures of Franciscan saints. In front of the church, there are stone Baroque statues of St. John of Nepomuk and St. Theodore, situated on the sides of the cross and created in 1738.
 
The Franciscan monastery adjoins the building in the north – a four-wing two-storey building around a courtyard. A cloister is on the ground floor, originally openly leading to the yard through semi-circular arcades; in 1735 it was bricked up into windows. The refectory has artistic value; it is arched also by a barrel vault with lunettes whose edges are decorated with stucco ornaments. A beautiful Rococo stove from 1780, created by a master from Jindřichův Hradec, J. Hájek, has been preserved here.

The “Little Monastery” across the street, opposite the monastery, was connected to the church by a walled hallway on arcades. It was founded by Anna of Münsterberk, widow of Jindřich IV of Hradec, as a widow manor and hospital for lepers. The hospital was closed in 1598 and the Little Monastery became a widow manor. Catherine de Monfort had the connecting hall to the church built. The building was repaired in the Baroque style in 1750 – 1780, in 1801 it was burnt down and in 1849 the aristocracy sold it to the town and the court resided here; later, the building decayed. In 2003, a vast reconstruction was completed and the court now resides here again.

11.4.2011 14:10:49 - updated 14.10.2014 11:52:01 | read 9123x | Vladislav Sochna

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