St Agnes Convent Museum Bohemian and Religious Art
St Agnes Convent Museum, the collection includes works from the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance from Bohemia and central Europe. Convent is a misnomer because you will find no nuns here. They left the convent during the Hussite Wars in the fifteenth century. During the Reformation in 1782, the convent was dissolved and lost its religious function. The building has low sloping roofs and looks more like a huge farm than a Gothic structure. St Agnes Museum and gardens are a serene and tranquil spot right in the middle of Prague. St Agnes Convent Museum is part of the National Gallery.
St Agnes Convent as Museum
The permanent collection is on the first floor and consists of medieval and early Renaissance art (1200-1550) from Bohemia and Central Europe mainly Gothic altar paintings and religious sculptures.
The Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia consists of two main buildings: the Convent of the Poor Clares and a small Franciscan monastery. Furthermore, there is the Saint Francis Church, the Chapel of Mary Magdalene, the Private Oratory of Saint Agnes, the Saint Barbara Chapel and the tomb of Wenceslas I.
St Agnes Convent: Highlights
1. Strakonice Madonna, a wooden sculpture of Madonna with the Infant Jesus in arms. She wears an open cloak and is inspired by similar images as seen in the portal of the cathedral of Reims in France. The statue was owned by Johanniter Commandery in Strakonice in South Bohemia.
2. Zbraslav Madonna, a painting of the Virgin Mary with the Infant which resembles a Byzantine icon. The ring that Mary wears symbolizes the mystical marriage between Christ and the Blessed Virgin.
3. Two Bohemian altarpieces, one from Vyssi Brod with Christ on the Mount of Olives, the other from Trebon depicting the resurrection of Christ.
4. Bohemian scuptures, a pregnant Madonna and John the Evangelist.
5. St James Cycle, souls being pulled from human mouths and evil devils all around.
6. Martyrdom of Saint Florian, the legend of Saint Florian painted on a panel belonging to a triptych
7. Votive panel of Archbishop Jan Ocko of Vlasim, Charles IV kneels before the Virgin Mary in heaven.
8. St Francis Church where King Wenceslas I is buried.
Legend has it that a Polish noblewoman gave the Poor Clares a recipe for an elixir ‘drink the water’. The nuns sold this drink at a symbolic price or gave it for free. After the dissolution of the monastery, only one nun remained who knew what ingredients to use to concoct this elixir. She never shared the recipe and took her secret mixture with her into the grave.
St. Agnes Convent is also one of the many haunted places in Prague. One of the nuns fell in love with a young man. When her father discovered this disgrace, he killed her and cursed her. As long as the convent will exist, her poor soul will wander about the convent at night, dressed in a blood-stained habit in search of couples who are also thwarted in love.
St Agnes Convent Museum is located near the Vltava River in the Stare Mesto district.
Address: St Agnes Monastery, Anezska 12, Stare Mesto, Prague
Open: 10.00-18.00, Wednesday until 20.00 and closed on Mondays
Tram 6, 8, 15.26 Dlouha trida stop