1721 - 1730, investor Antonin Pirmus, Provost of Rajhrad
In the very heart of Moravia we can find other places that cannot be forgotten thanks to Santini. The Benedictine Abbey at Rajhrad near Brno was established in 1048. Until the end of the 17th century, the monastery maintained its original Romanesque style, but the poor condition of the buildings required a complete reconstruction. In 1721, the Abbot Pirmus began to build a complex designed by Jan Santini Aichel. His design put the base of the monastery building on wooden piles and grates as he had done in Plasy. This effectively eliminated the bad conditions of the swampy terrain. The construction itself took place relatively quickly under Santini’s frequent personal supervision. The Abbey church is another significant building. Its layout is divided into three cells with a complicated vault cap over each of them.
The rhythmic structure of space and intense modelling of the light gives every part of the church a different aesthetic quality and leads visitors to the central axis towards the main altar. Construction of the Abbey was completed in 1730 and it was consecrated nine years later. The towers from 1691 were retained, but they later had to be secured with buttresses. The fate of the monastery, which was one of a few monasteries that remained fully functional despite Joseph’s restrictions, was tragically taken over by the communist state police in 1950. The monks were sent to an internment camp and the area was passed on to the Czechoslovak Socialist Army. Forty years later, Benedictine monks returned to the ruined monastery and have been slowly trying to restore this historic building themselves.