Červený Kláštor – Carthusian Monastery


   The monastery was founded in 1319 by the Hungarian magnate Kokosz Berzewicz. This foundation was part of the punishment that he was to suffer for killing Chyderk from the Györg family. The construction of the monastery, begun in 1330, was also supported by Polish kings: Casimir the Great and queen Jadwiga, it was even called the Lech (Polish) Monastery. Also Kraków burghers for the maintenance of the monastery, have allocated half of the village of Rychwałd. It was initially inhabited by monks from the Carthusian order, and from the beginning of the 18th century, the Camaldolese monks. The monks were supported by taxes from 10 villages. They expanded the monastery and erected further buildings: hermitage houses, a hospital, a pharmacy, an inn for travelers and a church tower.
In the years 1431-1433, the monastery was plundered by the Hussites. In the sixteenth century, gradually declined, and the monks moved to Poland. It revived shortly after bringing the Camaldoleses and operated until the eighties of the eighteenth century, when it was dissoluted by the emperor Joseph II. The property of the order was distributed among several hundred families of German colonists, who at that time came to nearby Dolne Lechnice. After the fire in 1907, as a result of which the roofs were destroyed and the church tower collapsed, the monastery became the property of the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture. In 1934 a makeshift renovation was carried out, and in the years 1952-1968 a general renovation was carried out.


   The main building of the monastery complex is the gothic, single-nave church of Saint Anthony of the Desert, from 1360. It is composed of a nave and a not separated chancel, ended by a straight wall. The vestry adjoins to the chancel from the north and the chapel from the south. From the north to the nave adjoins a early modern, square tower with two floors. The nave and the chancel are covered with gable roofs and mono-pitched roofs are over the outbuildings. To the interior from the west leads a gothic, pointed portal. The pointed windows are filled with tracery. The interior is covered with a gothic rib vault which is decorated with a baroque ornamental polychrome.
To the north of the church there were brick monastery buildings with a cloisters from around 1400. The eastern wing with the chapter house has a gothic vault with a fresco from the 16th century. Around the buildings, a wall was built, from the fifteenth century with defensive functions, equipped with battlement and arrowslits. Around it were modest Carthusian houses, which housed a workshop, a modest living room, a woodshed, and a garden at the back.

Current state

   Today’s state of the monastery is the result of the reconstruction undertaken in 1952. The central place is occupied by the monastery church with many gothic architectural details preserved. From the north, the main monastery buildings adjoin, from which the south, west and east part with the chapter house are preserved. Some of the Carthusian and Camaldolese houses are in ruin. One of the preserved exhibits presents the herbalism of Cyprian’s brother, in which times, the greatest herbal development in the monastery took place.

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Wasielewski A., Zamki i zamczyska Słowacji, Białystok 2008.

Website wikipedia.org, Czerwony Klasztor (Słowacja).