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Although today it is a peaceful cultural and musical centre, the convent of Saint Agnes of Bohemia was also unable to escape the agitated religious history of Prague. It was founded in 1234 by Agnes of Bohemia, sister of King Wenceslas I, for the Saint Clare nuns. Agnes would be named a saint in 1989. The convent was one of the first Gothic works in Prague and was a large complex that at one time housed seven churches and two convents, one for Saint Clare nuns and the other for Franciscans. The works were completed in 1280.
With the Hussite uprisings, its occupants fled from the convent, which remained abandoned until the arrival of Dominican nuns. They moved from Saint Clement, a space belonging to the Jesuits. In 1627 the nuns of Saint Clare returned.
At the end of the 18th century, under the reign of Joseph II, the convent became an asylum for the poor. The general state of the complex, however, was very deteriorated and finally had to be restored. The works began in the late-19th century, but were stopped and not restarted until the 1940s.
Today the convent’s main role is that of housing the Bohemia and Central Europe medieval art collection of the National Museum. Since 2000 some of the masterpieces of painting and sculpture from the Middle Ages can be seen here, exhibited chronologically.
Some works really stand out, such as the panel of the Annunciation of the Virgin, painted in 1350. It is a work of beautiful and delicate lines. The panel of Archbishop Jan Ocko of Vlasim dates from 1370. This panel, by an unknown author, shows King Charles IV kneeling before the Virgin. Also well worth seeing is “The Virgin of Saint Vitus”, from 1400.
Among the sculptures, you should see the Virgin of Strakonice, 700 years old, or a statue of the Virgin with Child which is very similar to that of the Virgin of Krumlov.
Of the seven churches that stood in this convent, only two remain: the church of Saint Francis and the church of Saint Salvatore. In the latter, there are two curious capitals that narrate, respectively, the five kings and five queens of Bohemia with sculptures of the heads.
In the restoration works the chapel was fitted out as a concert hall. This welcoming space is where chamber music lovers can listen to concerts. A curiosity of the chapel is the fact that it is decorated with a sculpture called “Music”, which was initially supposed to decorate the vestibule of the National Theatre.
And if what you are seeking is a moment of peace and quiet, you can take a break strolling around the calm convent cloister. Beneath its Gothic vaulting you will find the silence lost among the hustle and bustle of the streets of the centre of Prague.
Basilica and convent of Saint George (Bazilika a Kláster Sv. Jirí) (33)
Church of St. Nicholas (Sv. Mikulas) (11)
Monastery of Strahov (Strahovsky Klaster) (26)
Town Old Building of the Old Town (Staromestská Radnice) (9)
Cathedral of Saint Vitus (Katedrála Sv. Víta) (31)
Golz-Kinsky Palace (Palác Kinskych) (4)
National Gallery, Sternberg Palace (Národní Galerie - Sternbersky Palác) (29)
Saint Nicholas of Malá Strana (Sv. Mikulás) (40)
Charles Bridge (Karlûv Most) (2)
Our Lady of the Snows (Panna Marie Snezná) (52)
The Astronomical Watch (10)
Celetná Street (7)
Church of Saint Thomas (Sv. Tomás) (44)
Jan Hus, Bethlehem Chapel (Betlemska Kaple) (6)
Lobkowicz-Schwarzenberg Palace (Lobkovicky Palác) (36)
National Theatre (Národní Divadlo) (48)
Our Lady of Loreto (Loreta) (28)
Royal Way. Nerudova. (37)
State Opera (Státní Opera) (57)
Cernín Palace (Cernínsky Palác) (27)
Convent of Saint Agnes of Bohemia (Kláster Sv. Anezky) (16)
Jewish Quarter of Prague. The Golem. (21)
Masaryk Quay (Masarykovo Nábrezí) (51)
Old Jewish Cemetery (Stary Zidovsky Hrbitov) (24)
Petrin Hill (Petrínské Sady) (42)
Saint John Nepomucene (Sv. Jan Nepomucky na Skalce) (46)
Vtrba Garden (Vrtbovská Zahrada) (38)
Charles IV Square (Karlovo Námesti) (49)
Cubist Houses (Kubistické Domy) (59)
Kampa Island (41)
Municipal House (Obecní Dum) (12)
Old Town Square (8)
Royal Garden (Kralovská Zahrada) (35)
Slav Island and the Mánes Gallery (Slovansky Ostrov) (50)
Wallenstein Palace (Valdstejnsky Palác) (43)
Church of Saint James (Sv. Jakub) (19)
Golden Lane (Zlatá Ulicka) (32)
Letná Park (Letenské Sady) (17)
National Avenue (Narodni) (54)
Old-New Synagogue (Staronová Synagóga) (25)
Royal Palace (Stary Kralovsky Palác) (34)
Slavic Monastery of Emmaus (Kláster Na Slovanech -Emauzy-) (45)
Wenceslas Square (Václavské Námeí) (47)
Castle Gallery (Obrázarna Prazskeho Hradu) (30)
Museum of Dvorák (Muzeum Antonína Dvoráka) (53)
Prague City Museum (Muzeum Hlavního Mesta Prahy) (18)
Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art (Sbirka Moderního a Soucasneho Umení) (20)
National Jewish Museum, Maisel and Pinkas Synagogues (23)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart Museum. (60)