The Premonstratensian Monastery in Želiv

A monastery in a valley referred to as the “Valley of Happiness“, situated at the confluence of the Želivka and Trnávka Rivers, was founded by Přemyslid Prince Soběslav I and his wife Adléta in 1139 for Benedictine monks who came from the Sázava monastery.


Želiv 122
39444 Želiv
region Pelhřimov
49.529636, 15.215149Map
Period: summer, winter

Not long after, they were replaced by Premonstratensian monks. The turbulent times of the Hussite wars brought about sieges and exploitation of the monastery. Subsequently, when the monastery was seized by the Trčkas of Lípa, Trčkův Castle, which is still there today, was built.

Religious life was restored in Želiv in 1622 and the monastery resumed its three original missions: spiritual, cultural, and economic. Redevelopment after another devastating fire that occurred in 1712 was undertaken by Jan Santini Aichel. An essential part of the monastery is the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, with two towers on the facade and a valuace Baroque interior décor.

In 1950, the communists closed the monastery down and interned 464 priests and monks there; their names have been inscribed on the monastery’s walls since 2013. The monastic community resumed its work in 1991. Today, the monastery offers not only religious services, but also takes visitors on tours of the grounds, provides accommodation and even brews its own beer. A unique experience is taking a tour of the local brewery.

Foto: David Falat, Vladimír Kunc