- Physical difficulty: Easy
- Length: up to 45 min
- Wheelchair accessibility: No
As of 14 March, the obligation to wear respiratory protection in the external and internal areas of the monument is abolished.
Former Augustinian monastery Šternberk
The cloister of St. Augustine monks, together with the church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, has been established by Albert III. of Sternberk in 1371, and became an important cultural and economical center of the city of Sternberk. The difficult period of the cloister’s existence begun by the Hussite conquest in the 14th century and ended by the Thirty Year War. In the second half of the 17th century and throughout the 18th century, the cloister enjoyed a period of blooming development. This prime time was suddenly interrupted in 1784 by the Emperor Josef II, who issued an edict abolishing the cloister. As a result of this edict, the connecting wing, the former administrative palace, and the church are owned by the Roman-catholic church; the building of the former cloister belongs to the city of Sternberk. The whole object is a historical monument.
The church is being regularly used for worship. The exhibition spaces of the Handke Gallery are in the buildings owned by the Roman-catholic church. The Handke Gallery has been created during the past three years by an extensive reconstruction of extremely neglected historical spaces. The Gallery was established thanks to the efforts of the Handke Public Association. Its permanent exposition is formed by the collection of paintings by Jan Krystof Handke (1694-1774), an important painter of the Czech Baroque, who is closely tied to this region. Handke’s art is appropriately accented by the stucco interior decorations by Filip Sattler, created at the same time as Handke’s works.
Next to the permanent exposition, the Hadke Gallery also offers exhibitions by contemporary artists, concerts, symposia, meetings with authors, and other cultural events (a music festival). The historical space exquisitely complements the beauty of contemporary art.
Thanks to its variable program schedule, the Handke Gallery is visited not only by local visitors, but also by tourists from all over the world. Because of the interconnection of different art styles and periods, the Gallery has become a very attractive place even for the youngest audience (schools and students.)
The Handke Public Association originated on the basis of the need to rescue a historical object that had played an important part in the cultural and spiritual life of Bohemia. Thanks to the Handke Public Association, this important historical object is not only a dead witness of the past, but has become a dynamic place of mutual communication.
The Handke Public Association was established on June 6, 1999 by registration at the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic, under the registration number VS/1-1/40470/99-R.
Thanks to volunteer work of its members, the Handke Public Association has developed an artistic center ranking among the best in the region. The Association has also managed to establish a close cooperation with local, regional, and state institutions that have been helping to successfully finish the restoration of the object as well as its future use.
Thanks to a very positive feedback regarding the current activities and possibilities of this object, the Handke Public Association has decided to help restore even the severely neglected parts of this large object. Because of this, the Association has signed long term lease agreements with the owners of the object – the Roman-catholic parish of Sternberk and the city of Sternberk. Based on these agreements, the Association wants to create an extensive and well-documented exposition of the art of the Handke time period (high Baroque).