1996 World Monuments Watch
Jan Blažej Santini-Aichel (1677-1723) was one of the greatest architects of baroque Europe. But his name is little known outside Central Europe. From 1712 to 1726 Santini rebuilt the church of the Benedictine monastery at Kladruby – one of Central Europe's largest Romanesque basilicas – as a baroque edifice with Gothic highlights. Another important architect of the era, Kilián Ignác Dientzenhofer (1689-1751), contributed to the extensive baroque rebuilding. After monastic function ceased in 1785, subsequent incompatible uses led to steady deterioration. The cloister church and parts of the new convent have been open to the public since 1978. Following completion of a major highway from Germany to the Czech Republic, the monument's public profile and number of visitors are expected to increase. But the magnitude of the deterioration and a lack of sufficient government funds delay emergency repair and prolong public inaccessibility to the other structures at the site. Kladruby is only one of the many enormous and important baroque structures that the Czech government currently lists as endangered.
Since the Watch
Following the 1996 Watch, the roof and rafters of the cloister church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary was restored with the support of the Phare Cross-Border Co-operation Programme of the European Union, a program designed to help the countries of Central and Eastern Europe prepare to join the European Union. In addition, a comprehensive restoration plan for the rest of the monastery was prepared. Between 2004 and 2007, the roof of the new convent was also restored, and restoration is ongoing in other parts of the monastery with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. A new organization was created in 2000 to organize cultural events at the site, which now take place year-round. Last update: February 2011