HISTORY OF THE AREA
Art, Music and Heritage can help talk between different cultures through a common language.
Klaster village was built up from the ruins of an old monastery building originally built by Cistercian Monks from the mother monastery in Ebrach in Germany in 1144. When the monastery was destroyed in 1420 by the Hussites, the stones were used to build the houses in the village. Land plots were claimed, and these have evolved over the years.
There is a prominent wall in the centre of the village and features in some of the houses that have survived for nearly 900 years. Like the basement in this house.
The Monastery in Klaster village Nepomuk was built in about 1860, on part of the foundations of the old Cistercian Monastery. Land Registry records show that there was a building on this site before 1789, and The Monastery has been used in recent times as the village hall and school. The former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus visited The Monastery when it was in use for dances.
The most famous resident John of Nepomuk would have been influenced and educated by the monks of the most powerful and wealthy Cistercian monastery and almost certainly he would have sat at the lake side, where we can sit and fish today. In 1393 when John was martyred, Bohemia ( the present western part of the Czech Republic) and Bavaria (south Germany) were united in one of the most wealthy and powerful kingdoms of Europe, and St. John's statue is found throughout the region, and indeed the world. Nepomuk and the Germanic Czech lands were at centre stage at the start of a Reformation of the Church and tensions between the Secular and Religious, some 140 years before the English Reformation.
Much has happened to the building, land and river over the past 1000 years.
Klaster village is situated to the north of Nepomuk overlooked by the imposing Zelena Hora (green mountain) and its historical castle. The 2 kilometre walk to Nepomuk is possible to make in 15 minutes, and there is a good and efficient local taxi firm which charges 70 koruna or £2.20 from Nepomuk to Klaster. A disused 1.5 kilometer tunnel runs to the castle from the house basement, full of interesting early medieval features.
Klaster is in an area of National Parks, noted for their wildlife and cycling and walks. The area is similar to rural France.
There are 2 supermarkets (Co-op, Norma), some smaller useful shops, 2 hardware stores, a post office, bars, and 2 or 3 restaurants, including the famous Svejk restaurant and Hotel in the main square.
Nepomuk is on the main road to České Budějovice and also to the popular holiday centre of the Šumava (Bohemian) Forest and mountains. To the South, the German cities of Passau, Regensberg and Munich are about 3 hours drive, as is the Austrian City of Linz.
The town has museums, notably the Vintage Motor Exhibition, the Museum devoted to John of Nepomuk, and a museum of the works of the local famous painter Augustin Němejc.
St John`s statue in main square
The statue of St John is to be found all over the region and the World, and of course on Charles Bridge in Prague
NEPOMUK FAIR in the photo above. Always a fun time.
The train station at Nepomuk (Dvorec).
The main town square in Nepomuk.
The Monastery looks at the castle on Green Mountain (Zelena Hora castle, see above) and has an interesting history. It is most famous for the discovery by Josef Kovář in 1819 of an ancient Slavic manuscript, The Judgement of Lubussa. This recounts the foundation of Prague in the 8th century, but the manuscript is regarded by some scholars as being a complex forgery and a legend or myth. A wonderful opera was written on the story of Libuse by Smetana.
Films have been made at this amazing location, such as a French epic about the life of Catherine the Great of Russia. A Czech television series, The Black Barons, was made at the castle. Emperors were housed here, Saint Václav’s crown was hidden here, and the Red Bridge in Nepomuk saw so much blood and battle that it’s said the cries and shrieks of the soldiers still hang in the air in the evenings.
Zelina Hora, Green Mountain castle, hosts occasional events and performances. In 2016 and again in 2017 there were performances in the courtyard and exhibitions in the castle rooms.
Eva Urbanova, a local resident, the internationally acclaimed soprano gave a recital in July 2017 to raise funds for the upkeep of the castle.
The entrance to the castle.
Art exhibition in one of the many rooms of the castle 2016.