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Předklášteří

Porta Coeli

The premises of the Convent Porta coeli (The Gates of Heaven), originally built in the transitory Romanesque-Gothic style, have been constructed continually since the 13th century. Queen Constance, the Přemyslide king Otakar I’s widow, founded the convent in 1233 for the Cistercian nuns with the support of their sons – Bohemian King Wenceslas I and Moravian Margrave Přemysl who is buried in the convent together with his mother. The former convent church, since 1782 parish Assumption Church with a pentagonal presbytery, is a monumental three-aisle basilica without tower. It was built between 1233-1239 and is covered with a ribbed vaulting. The lavishly decorated Gothic portal in the western front is a unique work of art in the whole central Europe.

Portál

The Bohemian Queen Constance must have liked very much the countryside along the estuary of the rivers Loučka and Svratka set below steep hills when she decided to construct the convent Porta coeli exactly on this place at the beginning of the 13th century. She wanted to live the rest of her life in seclusion repenting her sins. She might have got to this remote part of Moravia when she travelled on one of the high roads across the deep forests of the Bohemian-Moravian border to her son who was the Moravian Margrave in Brno. The convent premises have been many times changed and altered, sometimes quite drastically in the past centuries. In the Hussite wars the convent was looted and restored to its use only in 1454. The Moravian Estates abolished it in 1619 however in 1625 it was established again. In 1782 the Austrian Emperor Joseph II ordered the abolition of the convent and secular owners got the large estate belonging to the convent that they began to use for industrial purposes. In 1861 the Cistercian nuns from the Upper Lusatian Marienthal bought the property and after forty years of renovation the nuns came back to this place. In 1950 the convent was abolished for the third time, the nuns had to work in agriculture, for example in pigsties. The life of the Cistercian Order was renewed only after 1990.

Porta Coeli

In 1900-1901 a new Assumption church in the style of the Gothic Revival was built according to the plans of the architect František Pavlů (on the left) on the place of the old granary as the original convent church remained a parish church (on the right).

The buildings in the convent Porta coeli belong to the most significant historic monuments in the Czech Republic. Apart from the well kept Romanesque-Gothic core with the unique portal there are many other well preserved buildings, such as the Baroque granary, the former beer brewery, a few gardens and fortification remains. There is a museum dedicated to regional history (Podhorácké muzeum) in the building of the former provostship, which apart from permanent expositions organizes a number of temporary shows and provides guided tours through the convent premises. One of the three ponds that surrounded the convent – kind of defence system – Kapitulní síň was made again in the 1970´s.

The Holy Trinity graveyard church was built in the late Gothic or early Renaissance style in 1555 and rebuilt in 1678, and is also one of important historic monuments in Předklášteří. There are remains of medieval fortifications west of the village on the cone-shaped hill called Čepička constructed by the Lords of Pernštejn in the second quarter of the 15th century on the temporarily confiscated convent lands. Many tools and even hut foundations of hunters and pickers from the late Palaeolithic were discovered at relief archaeological works below the hill Dřínová which was badly affected by limestone mining.

The capitular hall is one of the most precious architectural parts of the convent adjoining the cloister on the eastern side. It has crossed ribbed vaults on two pillars with the original stone pulpit.

Křížová chodba

The cloister surrounding the square convent courtyard touches the northern side of the church. It was finished about 1260. It has the original early Gothic vaulting with many decorations which makes it one of the most well preserved buildings of its kind in whole Moravia.

Předklášteří can be proud not only of the Gates of Heaven but also the village itself is a kind of gate to the surrounding beautiful countryside – to the romantic valley Loučky (unfortunately partially damaged by the quarry) and to the wooded area Pasník (543 m). Apart from beautiful remnants of natural deciduous woods you can also find there a place called „Jubileum-Jubilee“ with majestic Douglas firs which are said to have been planted to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the reign of the Emperor Francis Joseph I.

Mobiliář

The well known skiing resort „Na Klínku“ is situated on grassy hills between orchards south of Předklášteří. European championships in grass skiing are held here.

The furniture in the present parish church is Baroque, the paintings were created by F. A. Maulbertsch, J. Stern and I. Raab, the sculptures were made by J. Winterhalder Sr. and O. Schweigl. There is a tomb under the nave where the nuns are buried even today. A few tombstones honouring the memory of abbesses are placed in the entrance to the church.