St Agnes Convent

Located on the site called Na Františku, St Agnes Convent is considered to be the first Gothic building not only in Prague, but generally in Bohemia. It was founded by King Wenceslav I of Bohemia between 1233 and 1234 on the initiative of his sister Agnes for the Order of Saint Clare that Agnes introduced into Bohemia and of which she was the first abbess.

The Poor Clares originated as an offset of the Order of Friars Minor, which traced its origin to Saint Francis of Assisi. Agnes was a remarkable spiritual personality of the 13th century and she also founded the only Czech religious order – the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star and was canonized in 1989. The convent is a complex of two buildings, the convent of the Order of Poor Ladies and the monastery of Franciscans.

The former is the oldest brick building preserved in Prague. The early- Gothic St Francis Church belongs to the convent and has a Gothic window, which is the oldest one in the Central Europe. The St Salvator Church is the first example of the French Gothic style in the country and a royal burial place was originally there. Sadly, the buildings declined during the Hussite wars in the 15th century and the convent was abolished by Emperor Joseph II. in the 18th century.

It was used as workrooms and homes of poor citizens of Prague. Today, St Agnes Convent is part of National Gallery in Prague and houses an exhibition of medieval Central European art, especially Czech. St Agnes Convent has its own ghost-story, it says that a ghost of one of the nuns, who was killed by her own father for falling in love with a poor young man, haunts the convent in the night

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