Monastery of the Knights of the Cross with a Red Star - Křižovnické Square 3/191, Old Town
Křižovnické Square 3/191, Old Town
The only order of Czech origin, the Knights of the Cross with a Red Star, was founded as a hospice brotherhood by Agnes of Přemyslid in 1233 and instituted as an independent order four years later. The Knights of the Cross settled right next to the bridgehead of the stone Judith’s bridge in the Old Town which was later replaced by the Charles Bridge. This order was therefore in charge of the bridge, they collected the toll and duties and provided for its safety. The monastery with the hospice and the church of the Holy Spirit (now the church of St. Francis of Assissi) was built after 1252 and renovated after a fire in 1378, later further rebuilt and adapted a number of times. In 1648 the monastery was heavily damaged by the Swedish artillery and then rebuilt completely (in 1661-1731) according to a plan by C. Lurago, F. D. Orsi and then K. I. Dientzenhofer respectively. Other building adaptations were done in the 19th century, in 1909-12 many original parts of the monastery were taken down during an urban renewal and a new convent and a few neo-Baroque appartment blocks were built there instead. – In the buttress of the monastery the bridge tower of the former Judith’s bridge is incorporated. Its only preserved arch is found below the level of the current square.