email: info@yarntoknit.co.uk

Yarn to Knit Blog

Thursday, 31 March 2011


I love old buildings. I think they should be looked after and preserved.
Back in 2009, my friends Radka & Mirek bought this former Forestry office

Former Forestry Office

which used to be a part of the Chotesov Monastery near Pilsner in the Czech republic. 

This is an absolutely HUGE project and I sincerely hope it is not going to be a "life-long" one. 
Hats off for you guys for constantly battling with the authorities, fundraising money and hard labour while having a full time job and bringing up two young children.

The monastery was founded between 1202 and 1210 by the Blessed Hroznata, whose sister Vyslava was first abbess, and settled by nuns from Doksany Abbey. The new foundation soon acquired wealth and influence, to the envy of the surrounding lordships and territories.

In 1421, during the Hussite Wars the nunnery was occupied and destroyed by a Hussite army under Jan Žižka. During the Thirty Year's War, in 1618, the nunnery was again occupied and plundered.

Between 1737 and 1756 the abbey was extensively rebuilt to Baroque designs by Jakub Auguston.
On 21 January 1782 however it was dissolved under the rationalist reforms of the Emperor Joseph II
The lands and buildings were bought in 1822 by the Prince of Thurn und Taxis.

In 1878 part of the premises were leased to the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, also known as the Visitandines or Salesian Sisters, for refugees of their Order from Moselweiss near Koblenz in Germany. They established a community and a girls' school here, which rapidly became well-known, particularly for the study of languages.

After World War I a group of sisters returned to Germany and set up a community in Marchtal Abbey. At the beginning of World War II the school was closed and instead the sisters took over the running of a home for elderly women which was established in part of the premises. All German sisters were obliged to leave the abbey and the country in 1945 after the end of World War II, leaving about 30 Czech sisters to run the home.

All occupants of the abbey were evicted in 1950, when the abbey was requisitioned as accommodation for the Czech army until 1975 when the army left, leaving an estimated 10 million crowns' worth of damage for which compensation has never been received. 

The buildings have stood empty ever since. After some years under the control of government agencies, in 1991 ownership of the buildings was divided between the town of Chotěšov and the Visitandine nuns at Chlumec, whose share has since also passed to the town.

The abandoned buildings are in part in a state approaching the derelict and are threatened with collapse, despite their architectural and historical value and the great efforts of the local community to save them.

Every year in June my friends organise a fundraising event for the Forestry. This year it is going to be on 25th June and all the proceeds will go for a reconstruction of the main gate. It will be a day full of activities including kids' activities, workshops, handmade market stalls, art exhibitions, live music and DJs. 

Good luck and I wish you a very successful event!

Last year I made and donated these little birdies for their handmade market stall and they went like hot cakes. ;-)
I am still thinking about what to make for this year. Any ideas?


  1. They are cute, you should make them again to have sold there. The property looks amazing and it doesn't deserve to decay like that.

  2. You wrote a really great post.