MONASTERY OF THE KNIGHTS OF THE CROSS WITH THE RED STAR AND THE RUINS OF JUDITH BRIDGE

Monastic church and Romanesque bridge

Prague 1, Old Town

Platnéřská 191/4

a monastery church and a Romanesque bridge

Public transport - tram stop Staroměstská or Karlovy lázně/ metro station Staroměstská (green line A), further on foot.

The underground of the monastery accessible from the Charles Bridge Museum in Křižovnický square, remains of the bridge from the pier.

The Monastery of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star adjacent to the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi is the home monastery of the original Bohemian religious order of knights established by Agnes of Bohemia. The foundation stone for the hospital was laid on 21 May 1252. The monastery, or at least the hospital, was in operation less than a year later. The hospital section was on the west side while the eastern part was enclosed by the two-nave hall Church of the Holy Spirit. On the north, the compound bordered the Romanesque Judith Bridge and the gate on its first pier. The present appearance of the compound dates primarily from early modern times with the last reconstruction taking place in the 20th century. The remains of the Gothic Church of the Holy Spirit, a forerunner of today’s baroque church, have survived in the compound’s underground. The remains include uncovered richly profiled cluster piers as well as the bases of piers and columns of the short three naves. The current Charles Bridge Museum was instrumental in revealing the bottom part of the southern Gothic portal of the hospital church with receding planes which connected the church to Judith Bridge. The levels of medieval stone pavement of the bridge have survived in nearly original form on the outside of the portal. The remains of Judith Bridge is the second relic to remain hidden near the monastery compound. It is the northern side of the bridge pier built from large rust-tinged sandstone ashlars. A tower bridge was additionally mounted onto this structure, probably along with the construction of the Old Town fortification during the 1250s. Today, it remains hidden in the southwestern avant-corps of the monastic buildings. The surviving part of the Romanesque bridge structure on the Old Town riverbank may only be viewed from the outside of the monastic building. It is a fully preserved bridge arch – perhaps the first one on the Old Town riverbank. It can be viewed over the lowered court at the southern part of the monastery. When descending the staircase adjoined to the south of the bridge arch to the wharf, the entire structure may be viewed including the replica of the head of the ‘Bearded Man’, a stone sculpture created by Petr Váňa.

Datum vložení: 21.1.2019 | Datum aktualizace: 3.7.2020
Autor: Jaroslav Podliska

Použité prameny:
  • Podliska, J. – Zavřel, J. 2012: Nové poznatky o konstrukci a petrografické skladbě Karlova mostu v Praze. Kámen 18/2, 9–16.
  • Šefců, O. et al. 2007: Karlův most. Praha.