MONASTERY GARDENS

 

Since the first days of the Krumlov monastery area, its gardens have been its integral part. The grounds of Clarissine gardens have been functionally divided into separate specialised parts and ensured the nuns´ livelihood. They grew fruits, vegetables, spices and healing plants as well as the flowers for decorating the church.
The Clarissine garden (so-called ´virgin garden´) has been since the beginning most likely divided in two parts. The upper ´virgin garden´ lay on an elevated patch between the city walls and Clarissine and Minorite convents. It was probably the location of kitchen gardens and an orchard. The lower ´virgin garden´ spanned the vast flat area of the former Vltava river floodplain. Also here was an orchard with green grass plains and a fish stew. The gardens of the Clarissine monastery, now defunct, were with their arrangement an example of a typical medieval monastery garden. They were similar in form to the gardens of the neighbouring Minorite monastery.
The Minorite garden has since the beginning been located in the part of the garden between the Brewery street and the main gate of the Minorite monastery area. Just like in the Clarissine gardens, also here were the gardens divided into separate garden grounds of mostly utility character. A micro-climate favourable for growing fruit trees and grape wine in the nursery garden was created by its adequate expanse, convenient location regarding the cardinal points and the enclosing garden walls. That lead to naming the area neighbouring to the monastery courtyard ´Tramín´. The existence of a garden altar proves that this area of the fruit garden also had a part, so-called viridarium, devoted to leisure time and gratification. Kitchen or utility gardens served to ensure the livelihood of the friars. The vegetable garden lay east of the Minorite convent, which is where the monastery kitchen was also located in the past along with a brick annex on the enclosing wall of the garden near the brewery, which served a similar thth century the  and purpose. The garden used to be more spacious in this part but in the 17th and 18th century, the Krumlov estate administration bought its portion for the brewery (the ´ice building´ in 1685). The wings of monastery buildings were open through ambit arcades into a so-called paradise court and surrounded a square area called to paradise garden. There was a stone water tank in the middle, and towards it ran paths dividing the garden into four equal fields. In flower beds, healing plants and decoration flowers for the church were grown. The cemeteries of the regulars were found in the monasrtery areas. The original cemetery of the former Minorite monastery lay between the Chapel of St. Anne and the monastery church. It was planted by fruit trees as a symbolic depiction of resurrection.

The current appearance of the monastery garden stems from preserved records and offers its visitors an agreeable area for leisure and relaxation. The wine yard was newly planted with durable sorts of wine suitable for local climate. The visitors can admire herbal, flower or vegetable patches. Monastery gardens also serve as a cosy place for concerts and other socio-cultural activities. 


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