Strahov, Monastery of
STRAHOV, MONASTERY OF
premonstratensian abbey in the city of Prague known as the Czech Mt. Sion. It was founded possibly before 1140 by Bp. Henry Zdík of Olomouc with canons perhaps from the Holy Land, and was confirmed in 1140 by Ladislaus II. Strahov was settled in 1143 by Abbot Gezo (1143–60) with monks from Steinfeld, near Cologne, and in turn founded Litomysl (1145), Hebdow (1149), Louka (1190), tepl (1193) and Zabrdovice (1200) and directed the convent of Doksany (founded 1143). In 1294 Strahov founded four houses in Hungary. Its school was known for learning by 1150. In 1341 Abbot Peter II Vojslai received the pontificalia. The monastery was burned in 1258 and destroyed by hussites in 1420, and languished until Abbot Johann lohelius (1586–1612) from Tepl revived it. Strahov in turn revived several other abbeys: Nova Říše in 1596; Allerheiligen in 1601; Zeliv and Milevsko in 1622; Geras in 1627; Jerichow in 1628; and Gottesgnaden, Ilfeld, and Magdeburg in 1629. In 1627 the reformer Abbot Caspar of Questenberg translated the relics of St. norbert from Magdeburg to Strahov. In 1691 Abbot Vitus II Seipel reintroduced the order into Hungary. Strahov had many famous members in the 17th and 18th centuries. Emperor joseph ii reduced the abbey to a parish church. After the suppression of prÉmontrÉ in 1789, Austrian and Czech abbeys formed a circary under Strahov in 1859. The Czech character of the abbey assured it of favor under the Czechoslovak Republic after 1918, but the Communists suppressed it in 1950. The last abbot, Bohulaus II Jarolímek (1942–58) died in prison. The excellent library of 110,000 volumes, 2,000 MSS, and 1,200 incunabula and the art gallery of 1,100 paintings became part of the state museum.
Bibliography: n. backmund, Monasticon Praemonstratense, 3 v. (Straubing 1949–56). l. nemec, Church and State in Czechoslovakia (New York 1955). a. huber, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 9:1102–03.