Former Jesuit College

The college was built in 1595 – 1605 and paid for by Adam II of Hradec and his wife Catherine de Montfort. Although Adam and Jáchym of Hradec were religiously tolerant, Adam II’s attitude towards non-Catholics changed especially due to the influence of his German wife, Catherine de Montfort, who was a bigoted Catholic. At her interceding, he summoned the Jesuits to Jindřichův Hradec in 1594. At that time, over 20 houses on the ramparts were demolished and two large buildings for the Jesuits were built in their place: the college and the seminary opposite. The college was built by the builder Martin Vlach. The most massive southern wing was decorated with sgraffiti; other wings situated around the yard were lower. The south-east corner of the college is adjacent to the western part of the nave of Church of St. Mary Magdalena. The founder is remembered by a five-leaf rose on the wall in the hallway on the second floor. In 1773, when the Jesuit order was abolished, the college in Jindřichův Hradec was dissolved. However, Jesuits remained in town because they believed they would be allowed to continue teaching at the grammar school. However, in 1779 the college was modified to serve as military quarters and became a dormitory for the grenadier battalion. At present, extensive reconstruction is in progress, during which decorative paintings with so-called “black decorating” were discovered by means of probes in rooms of the western wing. The probes proved the existence of complex black decorating with plant motifs. The largest discovery was made during research of the massive vault and walls in the refectory. It is probably an early-Baroque painting with exceptional artistic quality. The Museum of Photography now resides in the restored premises.