St. George´s Convent at the Prague Castle was the first monastery in Bohemia. It was founded by Premyslid Duke Boleslav II. in 973, after the Prague bishopric was established. For several centuries, the convent was an important clerical institution, a residence of Benedictine nuns. At the present time, there is a permanent exhibition of the National Gallery in Prague, presenting Mannerism and Baroque art in Bohemia.
Romanesque St. Ann Chapel
St. George´s Convent consists of two buildings around two courtyards and it neighbours with the St. George´s Basilica. The only preserved part of the original Romanesque building is the St. Ann Chapel from the 12 th century with tombstones of the convent´s abbesses. St. George´s Convent was a prestigious institution, the nuns were from important noble families and some of them were from the ruling Premyslid dynasty.
Difficult history of the convent
A sad period in the convent´s history came in the 15 th century. Because of the Protestant Hussite Wars, the nuns had to leave the convent and the buildings were desolated.
The nuns could return in 1437. In the beginning of the 16 th century, St. George´s Convent was modified in Renaissance style. However, it was damaged again by the big fire of the Prague Castle in 1541. A new Renaissance part of the complex was built afterwards. St. George´s Convent gained its Early Baroque appearance in the 17 th century, probably according to a project by Carlo Lurago.
The convent was dissolved in 1782 by Joseph II., in compliance with his Enlightenment reforms. However, Prague citizens protested a lot against this decision. The building became a seat of an artillery regiment till 1826. It rather declined during the 19 th century.
Mannerist and Baroque art exhibition
In the 20 th century, St. George´s Convent became an exhibition space of the National Gallery in Prague. You can see some of the best works of Bohemian Mannerism and Baroque art there. Also the art of the Rudolphian period (era of Emperor Rudolph II.) can be seen there. The exhibition is open every day of the week, from 9 am to 5 pm. There is a free entry every first Wednesday in a month.