Minor Architecture

The monastery complex also contains several remarkable smaller buildings and sculptural works. Below is a description of these architectural treasures.

Columnar structures

Columnar structures in the monastery complex, from left: the column of St. Norbert, the Statue of Our Lady of Exile, and the Ecce Homo column.

Main Monastery Gate

It can be assumed that the oldest entrance was located at the site of the current main entrance on the west side of the monastery complex. The current gate was preceded by an older one, which was modified in 1674 by architect Giovanni Domenico Orsi (1634 Vienna - 1679 Prague). The gate was heavily damaged during the shelling of the monastery in 1742 and was soon after replaced by a new gate. In the gable, there is a cartouche with a two-part stone coat of arms. At the top, there is a relief decoration from 1752-1755, dominated by a statue of the founder of the Premonstratensian order, Saint Norbert, flanked by sculptures of putti holding his attributes - a patriarchal cross and an abbot's crozier. The author of this decoration is the creative and renowned Czech sculptor Jan Antonín Quitainer (1709 Prague - 1765 Prague). In the past, the gate had a gate with a wrought iron grille.

Column with Saint Norbert

A seven-meter-tall stone column with figurative decoration is located between the main gate and the facade of the basilica. The pylon is crafted from coarse-grained Žehrovický sandstone. The column consists of a base, upon which a twice-stepped plinth rests, continuing into a shaft with entasis. The column is topped with an Ionic capital adorned with festoons. Atop the column rests a sandstone statue of St. Norbert. The saint holds a monstrance in his right hand and a patriarchal cross in his left. Beneath his right foot lies the body of the heretic Tanchelm. The column was created in 1631 by Václav Raussel and Zachariáš Bussi, likely on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the transfer of St. Norbert’s relics from Magdeburg to Bohemia. This piece of art has undergone several modifications. During the latest restoration in 2004, a metal canopy was restored above the statue.

Datails of columnar statues

Details of the columnar statues, from left: the column of St. Norbert, the Statue of Our Lady of Exile, and the Ecce Homo column.

Column Ecce Homo

The column has a smooth shaft, placed on a high base with corner protrusions and is topped with an Ionic capital with festoons. On this column, located in the outer courtyard between the entrance to the provisorate building and the staircase to Pohořelec, a metal cross with a canopy was originally placed. It was taken down in 1910 and replaced with a new sculpture of Ecce Homo by the prominent Czech sculptor of the first third of the 20th century Čeněk Vosmík (1860 Humpolec - 1944 Prague).

Statue of Our Lady of Exile

The statue commemorates the existence of the original Marian column with the statue of the Immaculate on Old Town Square, erected in 1652 in memory of the successful defense of Prague against Swedish troops in 1648. The shadow of the column, nearly 14 meters high, also served as a time indicator, showing the so-called Prague meridian at noon. The statue, created by Jan Jiří Bendl, was senselessly torn down by an enraged crowd on November 3, 1918. As a plea for atonement for this event, it was decided shortly afterwards, among other things, to create a new statue of the Virgin Mary. This was done in 1954 in Italy.

In 1954, Alessandro Monteleone (1897 Tauranga - 1967 Rome) made a new statue from Carrara marble, reminiscent of the original appearance of the torn-down sculpture. After being consecrated by the papal nuncio K. Micara at the Czech papal college in Rome's Nepomuceno, it was erected on May 22, 1955, in the garden of the Czech Benedictine Abbey of St. Procopius in Lisle near Chicago. In 1993, it was transported to Prague and on May 7, 1994, erected in the garden of the Strahov Monastery. The cartouche in the middle of the base reads "Our Lady of Exile, pray for us."

Every first Saturday of the month, after the evening Mass, pilgrimages are held to it from the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady. Every year, the Marian foot pilgrimage through Prague also starts here on the first Saturday of May. The Strahov Monastery supported the reconstruction of the Marian column on Old Town Square and is a member of the society for its renewal."


Statue of Our Lady of Exile
Statue of Our Lady of Exile
Column with Saint Norbert
Column Ecce Homo
Main Gate, historical photography
Statue with Saint Norbert, historical photography
Vosmík's Model of Ecce Homo, Historical Photography
Ecce Homo Column, historical photography