B?evnov Monastery (Czech: B?evnovský klá?ter, German: Stift Breunau) is a Benedictine archabbey in the B?evnov district of Prague, Czech Republic. It was founded by Saint Adalbert, the second Bishop of Prague, in 993 AD with the support of Duke Boleslav II of Bohemia. The first Benedictine male monastery in Bohemia, it also has the oldest tradition of beer brewing in the Czech Republic. Brewing was interrupted several times in the history, but up to today, the B?evnov Monastery Brewery brew its beer here.
The monastery was founded in the early 990s by Adalbert of Prague. Adalbert of Prague left Bohemia in 994 for having disputes with ruler. The new impuls came with the Czech Duke Bretislav I who started construction on stone church and who managed for the monastery remains of Gunther of Bohemia, the monk from Niederaltaich Abbey in Bavaria. Filial monasteries were established at Broumov and Police in northern Bohemia.
During the Hussite Wars in the 1420s, abbot and convent fled to Broumov and the entire monastery including brewery were nearly destroyed. After the Thirty Years' War, the construction of a Baroque monastery complex has been realized under Abbot Othmar Daniel Zinke in 1708-1740 according to plans designed by Christoph Dientzenhofer. The interior of the buildings, including St Margaret's church, the conventual buildings and prelate's house was designed by his son Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer, with altarpieces by Petr Brandl, a ceiling fresco by Cosmas Damian Asam and stucco works by his brother Egid Quirin Asam. At the same time the annual production of beer reached up to 5,000 hl.
After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938, the monastery was seized by Wehrmacht forces during World War II and finally expropriated by the Communist Czechoslovak government in 1950. Abbot Anastáz Opasek (1913-1999) was condemned for high treason and espionage in a show trial, the monastery was dissolved and the remaining monks were deported, if they had not fled to Bavarian Braunau in Rohr Abbey re-established by their Broumov brothers in 1946.
The complex was used until 1990 by the StB, after the Velvet Revolution, was thoroughly repaired from 1991 until its 1000-years-jubilee in 1993. In 1997 it was visited by Pope John Paul II and was elevated to the rank of an Archabbey.
The brewery at B?enov Monastery re-opened after brewing hiatus of about 120 years in 2011. B?evnov Monastery Brewery (B?evnovský klá?terní pivovar) brews its beer under the name B?evnovský Benedict.