Name of Monument:
Premonstratensian Monastery, Hradisko u Olomouce
Also known as:
Olomouc, Moravia, Czech Republic
Giovanni Pietro Tencalla (1629 Bissone? – 1702 Vienna?), Martin Antonín Lublinský (1636 Lesnica – 1690 Olomouc), Christian Alexander Oedtl (b. 1737 Vienna), Ludwig Sebastian Kaltner, Antonio Ricca, Jan Jiří Etgens (1691–1757 Brno ), Karel František Josef Harringer (1689 Vienna – 1734 Olomouc), Josef Winterhalder Sr. (1702 Vöhrenbach – 1769 Vienna), Johann Michael Winterhalder (1706 Vöhrenbach – 1759 Vöhrenbach), Paul Troger (1698 Zell bei Welsberg – 1762 Vienna), Jan Kryštof Handke (1694 Janovice near Rýmařov – 1774 Olomouc), Daniel Gran (1694 Vienna – 1757 St. Pölten), Georg Anton Heinz (1698 Svitavy – 1759 Znojmo)
Denomination / Type of monument:
Religious – Monastery
Premonstratensian order: abbots Norbert Želecký of Počenice (1679–1709), Bernard Wancke (1709–1714), Benedikt Bönisch (1714–1712), Robert Sancius (1722–1732), Norbert Umlauf (1732–1741)
The Premonstratensian order acquired the site, once a Benedictine monastery, in 1151. The monastery became a burial site for the appanage princes of the Przemyslid dynasty. The monastery was plundered by the Swedish army when it took Olomouc. It was subsequently rebuilt and a new church erected. The church was steadily supplemented with further canonry buildings, designed by G. P. Tencalla and M. A. Lublinský. The extensive building activities, patronage and political influence of the monastery rivalled those of the bishop, and surpassed the activities of the aristocracy. A major celebration, commemorating the 600th anniversary of the arrival of the Premonstratensian order in Hradisko, was held there in 1751. The monastery sustained damage during the Prussian siege in 1758 and in 1784 was converted into a military hospital.
The monastery, on a quadratic ground plan, with buildings constructed along an axis dictated by the church, its corner towers endowing it with a stronghold character, embodies an “infirmary of God”. A display of spiritual and secular power, the site’s fame and the virtues of its patrons are expressed through the monastery’s design, embracing a host of elements characterising secular residences: an impressive entrance; a spectacular staircase; a hall in the front and a system of anterooms and side rooms. The monastery buildings and the church lie in the second tract. The canonry complex also comprises farmyards, residences for individual demesnes (Šebetov, Vresovice and Konice), ornamental gardens, statues in the landscape and the Sv. Kopecek pilgrimage site.View Short Description
A display of spiritual and secular power, the site’s fame and the virtues of its patrons are expressed through the monastery design. The extent of building activity, patronage and political influence rivalled those of the bishop, and surpassed those of the aristocracy. Leading Viennese and Olomouc artists joined forces in the interior decoration. The main subjects include allegories of the virtues and an apotheosis of the founder of the Premonstratensian order. The canonry complex also comprises farmyards, residences and the Sv. Kopecek pilgrimage site.
How Monument was dated:
Left of the entrance is a plaque with the year 1786, relating to the establishment of the new monastery. Contracts and correspondence for a large proportion of the work and art have survived. The progress of the work and significant visitors to the monastery are recorded in the monastery chronicles. These also mention some artefacts that once complemented the iconography of the monastery such as a fountain in the courtyard known from old pictures which have not survived.
Premonstratensian Monastery, Hradisko u Olomouce, Entrance VestibuleOlomouc, Moravia, Czech Republic
Georg Anton Heinz (1698 Svitavy – 1759 Znojmo)
The entrance vestibule of a triple nave features personifications of the four seasons, a frequent subject for Baroque residences, including gardens and salla terrenas, symbolising the earthly sphere of the world and the passage of time. The figure, of striking volume, is typical of G. Heintz, paraphrasing Michelangelo's Bacchus known from graphic reproductions.
Allegory of Hope
Premonstratensian Monastery, Hradisko u Olomouce, StaircaseOlomouc, Moravia, Czech Republic
Josef Winterhalder Sr. (1702 Vöhrenbach – 1769 Vienna)
The staircase is an important ceremonial element in such residences. In religious circles, it is likened to the ascension to heaven, with individual steps associated with penitence. Niches in the vestibule contain life-size stuccoed sandstone statues, allegories of the virtues. Above them are scenes from the life of St. Norbert and his predecessors, including according to an idealised genealogy, the founders of Hradisko Monastery. The whole thus makes up a gallery of ancestors through the mirror of virtues and glory, peaking in the apotheosis of St. Norbert, founder of the Premonstratensian order, on the vaulting. The allegory of Hope, facing the corridor, personifies the power and strength of Christ’s sacrifice and faith in his Resurrection.
Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes
Refectory, Premonstratensian Monastery, Hradisko u Olomouce
Paul Troger (1698 Zell bei Welsberg – 1762 Vienna)
The central representation space of the abbey, on a rectangular ground plan, has two fireplaces, over which are relief pictures relating to fire as one of nature’s elements, and biblical history (St. Paul Landing in Malta, St. Peter’s Three Denials of Christ). The sculpted decoration is dominated by Old Testament scenes: Samuel Meeting Saul and David Meeting Achimelech. Busts over the entrances represent the seasons of the year; reliefs in the windows portray allegories of the virtues and vices. “Real” architecture is supplemented by illusionary painting, with the subject of Christ at a Common Table culminating in the figure of Divine Providence with a cornucopia. The iconography of the hall – designed to host important guests such as the emperor and his wife – symbolises hospitality and at the same time moderation. Dining was the pivotal element of court ceremonies.
Celebration of the Premonstratensian Order
Premonstratensian Monastery, Hradisko u Olomouce, Chapel of the AbbotOlomouc, Moravia, Czech Republic
Jan Kryštof Handke (1694 Janovice near Rýmařov – 1774 Olomouc)
Transfiguration on Mount Tabor
Premonstratensian Monastery, Hradisko u Olomouce, Representations’ RoomOlomouc, Moravia, Czech Republic
Daniel Gran (1694 Vienna – 1757 St. Pölten)
Historická Olomouc X. Tématický sborník příspěvků zaměřených k problematice premonstrátského kláštera Hradiska a barokní kultuře na Moravě, Olomouc, 1995.
Citation of this web page:
Zora Wörgötter "Premonstratensian Monastery, Hradisko u Olomouce" in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.discoverbaroqueart.org/database_item.php?id=monument;BAR;cz;Mon11_F;9;en