TOP - a recommended destination in České Budějovice
The Dominican monastery with the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary ranks among the oldest and most valuable heritage sites in České Budějovice, and is located in Piarist Square, which was previously a Dominican cemetery until the mid- 18th century. The construction started simultaneously with the founding of the city in 1265 and continued for several decades. The burgrave of Zvíkov, represented by Ottokar II of Bohemia, gave the Dominicans a suitable piece of land and a meadow opposite the church across the river. The latter was intended for a garden to give the monastery peace. The monastery was part of the city fortification line. The unfinished church was consecrated already in 1274 for church services. However, the monastery itself took relatively long to build piece by piece. It was only completed after 1380, when the Well Chapel protruding from its square footprint was finished.
The church interior contains remains of precious decorative paintings from the 14th and 15th centuries (such as the ten-meter-tall figure of St Christopher, St Dorothea, Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St George). There are precious murals in the cloister as well. A monastery building with a Gothic ambulatory connects to the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the south. Inside the convent is a garth, surrounded on all sides by a beautiful cloister. The monastery tour includes the White Tower, dating from the Late Gothic period, with a Baroque cupola and a prominent feature of the cityscape to this day with a height of 51 meters. The five Baroque statues in the monastery garden, made by Josef Dietrich, are also unique. They were originally situated by the entrance to the monastery church. Tradition says that the sculptor gave the statue of St Joseph his own face.