Broumovsko is a land of baroque sights and monuments of architectural value, precious for their cultural importance. Two city protected areas are situated here – Broumov and Police nad Metují, village protected area Křinice, two benedictine monasteries – Broumov and Police nad Metují, a peculiar group of nine countryside churches – also the oldest wooden church in the Czech Republic, exceptional farms of Broumov type, dozens of chapels, crossroads, hundreds of sandstone statues and crosses of high value found in villages, cities but also in wild nature.
Benedictine abbey of St. Wenceslas in Broumov
King Přemysl Otakar I. donated the territory of Broumovsko region to the benedictine monks from Břevnov in Prague in 1213. Soon after 1300 a provostery was created here and the original fortress was rebuilt to a monastery. Church was built in gothic style and consecrated to St. Wenceslas. During the hussite wars abbot of Břevnov fled to this monastery and brought several valuable objects – among other a manuscript of Bible- Kodex Gigas, which is, since 1684, located in Sweden as a war trophy. The monastery of Břevnov was occupied by hussites in 1420. They also tried to conquer Broumov but never managed to. They did, however, allways manage to plunder the surroundings. The resettlement of the abbot from Břevnov to Broumov was an important act for the monastery and also for the locals, regarding culture and agriculture.
Another important time for the monastery was the 17. and the beginning of 18. century when rich construction works took place. During the presence of abbot Tomáš Sartorio, 1663-1700, the reconstruction of the church to it´s modern baroque visage commenced, lead by Martin Allio of Löwenthal. It was completed during the presence of abbot Otmar Daniel Zinke, 1700-0738, when also the entire building was renovated by the architects Christophe and Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer. This time marks the construction of several countryside chruches as well.
An important chapter in the history of the monastery is scholary. Local monastery school was very famous already before the hussite wars and many known persons studied here, for example the first Prague archbishop Arnošt from Pardubice, historian jesuit Bohuslav Balbín, writer Alois Jirásek or the first Czechoslovak finance minister Alois Rašín. In 1939 the school was shut down by the Nazis. During war only German monks lived here and those had to be resettled afterwards to Rohr in Bayern. Czech benedictines from the US took care of the monastery but were forced to flee during the communist era. Since 1950 it was a prison for priests and clericals from various orders. After this, sisters lived here, in inhuman conditions, forced to work in factories. In 1968 they were able to leave to charitative houses. Only dominican sisters stayed in Broumov then, who baked wafer for all clerical houses in Bohemia and Moravia. In 1990 the monastery was returned to thebenedictine hands but has been empty ever since.