The Museum

Capitular Hall and Cloister

The Capitular Hall and the adjacent Cloister are the oldest buildings of the entire Strakonice castle premises. The hall used to be a Johannite commandery (it was donated to the order by the founder of the castle, Bavor I, in 1243). Initially it was used as a chapel and following the completion of the church also as a hospital. Nowadays, the museum holds various concerts, exhibitions and other cultural events here.

From the architectural point of view, there are late Romanesque features; for example, a round window above the entrance to the hall, original vaults or entrance portal to the cloister. Gothic features visible on window shapes or Baroque features added during the renovation in the Baroque period can be discerned as well. Unfortunately, due to the renovations valuable historical frescoes were significantly damaged or totally lost. The frescoes used to decorate the hall and the cloister and they depicted the life of Jesus Christ, from his preaching to resurrection. Two oldest phases of fresco decoration date back to the 1st half of the 14th century (1st phase before 1320, 2nd phase 1320–1330/1340). The most recent late Gothic phase dates back to the period around 1480.

The cloister with a paradise garden was built next to the Capitular Hall in the 13th century by the Maltese Order and served for personal meditation of order members. This area was therefore not accessible to other persons. The architectural design is Gothic again as shown by the original ribbed vault of the corridor.