The Oldest Carthusian Monastery of Central Europe to Be Renovated

The Ministry of Culture and local authorities allocated 148 thousand euros to carry out repair and restoration works in the Žička Carthusian Monastery – the oldest Carthusian monastery in Central Europe located in the vicinity of Slovenske Konjice, Styria region. The Žička Carthusian Monastery has the status of a cultural monument of national importance.

In the course of repair and restoration works, the facade of the upper household building of the monastery will be modernised, window and door fittings will be replaced, new furniture will be built in, basements will be improved, and new wiring will be laid. It is also supposed to restore the Gothic painting on the arch of the Church of Saint John the Baptist.

As specified in the municipality of Slovenske Konjice, the implementation of works will be controlled by the Celje local office of the Centre for Protection of Cultural Heritage. It is planned to complete the works in May 2020.

Historical Background

The history of the monastery goes back to the 12th century. In 1160, 12 monks and 24 lay brothers from the first Carthusian monastery in Grenoble, France arrived in Slovenske Konjice and began the construction of a new monastery in the small settlement of Žiče. Initially, the majority of buildings were wooden. The monastery acquired its present stone appearance much later. In 1467, the Gastuž Tavern, which is considered the oldest tavern in Central Europe, was opened at the monastery. The tavern is still operating, pampering its guests with old medieval recipes. On the territory of the monastery, there are the ruins of the once majestic Gothic Church of Saint John the Baptist, several restored towers and internal buildings, one of which houses a museum with an exposition of the monastery history. Famous champagne and wines under the Zlati Grič (Golden Hill) brand name are produced in the local Otakar’s Sparkling Wine Cellar. All visitors can taste this delicacy.