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náměstí 1. Máje
430 28 Chomutov
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The larger part of the exposition is located in one of the most impressive spaces of the Town Hall – Mnišský dvoreček (Monkish backyard). Several items of the exposition can be found in the equally impressive atmosphere of the early Gothic church of St. Catherine which is also a part of the Town Hall. The Monkish backyard is located on the first floor and it concerns a square space in the open air surrounded by walls of the remaining floors on which we can observe the individual stages of turbulent development of the construction from its origination up to the conversion into a castle during the reign of family of Veitmils (1468 - 1560), Renaissance reconstruction by the family of Lobkowicz (1571-1594) up to the modern conversion into the town hall. The Monkish backyard is undoubtedly one of the most romantic corners of the city of Chomutov, artfully concealed in the very historical centre. The current appearance of exposition in the Monkish backyard still retains the original arrangement which it obtained at its origination within the opening of the museum in 1923.
'Lapidary', a word of Latin origin, means an art collection of stone sculptures and building artefacts. The art collection of the Lapidary which you can admire in both above mentioned spaces in the building of Town Hall contains the stone artefacts covering the period from early Gothic to the first half of the 20th century, with the largest concentration of Renaissance and Baroque objects. Many of them are still of unknown origin, but in case of about half of them the provenance is known and in summary it can be said that it presents the localities of the former district of Chomutov (Chomutov and Kadaň regions). Regarding the types a really wide variety of stone objects is represented in the exposition - from building elements and their fragments, through the cornerstones and border stones, columns and pedestals, wine presses, cannon balls, stone embrasures, wayside crosses and tomb crosses, the armorial plates, tombstones, and finally the sacral and secular figural sculptures.

The vast majority of items of the art collection of the Lapidary were obtained from the very beginning of the museum in 1923 until the 50th of the 20th century thanks to the activity of the museum association and dr. Rudolph Wenisch (director of the museum from 1932 to 1945). During the totalitarian period after the war the exposition grew thanks to further gathering and gifts and transfers from other institutions (National municipal office Jirkov, OK ONV Chomutov, Regional Center of State heritage protection and conservation in Usti nad Labem, Chateau Red Castle or abolished museums in Přísečnice and Kadaň). The archaeological research carried out in the last decade in the city centre became the main source of expanding the art collection and the exposition. Thanks to the research in front of the west facade of the Town Hall in 2005 four rare objects were added to the collection. The archaeological research carried out in the Žižkov square in 2008 thanks to which over 120 stone artefacts were added to the art collection became the largest enrichment of this art collection. So far six of these items have been included in the permanent exposition at the Monkish backyard (particularly the early Renaissance terra-cotta architectural elements).

The early Gothic columnar Calvary from Všestudy, Gothic embrasures or fragments of early Gothic pyriform ribs and window bars of the church of St. Catherine belong to the oldest particularly noteworthy monuments. You can also admire the late Gothic artefacts such as the profiled lining of windows with intersected bars or the bottom part of stringer of spiral staircase with ornament of "Meissen style" from the last quarter of the 15th century. The preserved epitaph of Bonuše Caltová of Kamenná Hora, wife of Beneš of Veitmile from 1511 has a high historical value. The parts of terracotta portals and lining of windows decorated with typical early Renaissance ornamentation of the North Italian type that come from adaptations of the former Chomutov castle carried out by the family of Veitmile after the fire 1525 belong to the most attractive early Renaissance monuments.

In the whole Bohemia these early Renaissance terracotta sets were only found at a few important noble residences including the Prague Castle. Also the caricatural figures of a nobleman and a peasant that come from the demolished castle Prunéřov and of course a number of magnificent tombstones belong to the objects coming from the 16th century that can be found in the exposition at the Monkish backyard. The epitaph from Stranná with a figural scene of the Trinity with donators which dates back to BC 1572 and is located in the presbytery of the church of St. Catherine is also a remarkable monument from the 16th century. Beside other tombstones in the Monkish backyard the fragment of an epitaph from the cemetery church of St. Anna in the town of Kadaň and the font from the church of St. James in Škrla are the most important representatives of the late Renaissance art of the 17th century. Both works of art are on display in the church of St. Catherine. The high quality slightly below- life-size sculpture of the Mount of Olives from the 17th century, originating from the parish church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Chomutov, then several beautiful saint and Marian sculptures located in the Monkish backyard and in the church of St. Catherine dominate among a number of Baroque monuments . So-called Callot dwarf from the destroyed castle in Ahníkov of the 1st third of the 18th century is interesting by its wit.

The exposition can be browsed without any interpretation or with the interpretation by a guide who will provide you with information not only on the exposition, but also on the history of the building and the town of Chomutov. The individuals, families, groups and schools are welcomed. The expert commentary can be provided on request.

Mgr. Renáta Gubíková
(Regional museum in Chomutov)

Opening hours:

Tue-Fri 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sat 9:00 a.m.-2:00 pm
VII, VIII Sun 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., XII Sun 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.



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