Studijní depozitář Plasy

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History of the Plasy depository

In the 1970s, the Regional Centre of Cultural Heritage Preservation and Nature Conservation in Pilsen decided to establish a central depository in an unused part of the 2nd floor of the former Cistercian monastery convent in Plasy. The depository was created because of the necessity to store furnishings in one place (this played a significant role in the 1980s, when the valuable furnishings of Kynžvart château were moved out for the renovation of the château). After the extensive renovation of Kynžvart in the 1990s, a large part of the furnishings returned to Kynžvart. The last part of the collection was brought back from Plasy to Kynžvart in 2008: the last remaining items were moved to a renovated research repository at Kynžvart (as part of a project funded by the financial mechanisms of the European Economic Area including Norway, Lichtenstein, and Iceland).

The National Heritage Institute had been preparing the project of the Research Depositories of Furnishings in the Plasy monastery and Kynžvart château since 2006. The renovation started at the end of 2008. Both depositories, the one in Plasy and the one in Kynžvart, underwent major construction renovation and restoration. The Plasy monastery now also boasts a brand new lift that will serve not only to move the furnishings but will also help accommodate monastery visitors with disabilities. The lift also made new attractive areas more accessible to the public, such as a small courtyard between the High Baroque convent and the Romanesque-Gothic Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, often likened to an image from an architecture textbook by experts.

Within the project, more than 22 rooms were renovated and restored, and a number of Baroque elements were also restored in Plasy. One of Santini's elliptical staircases was also finished and an outdoor lift was built in the area where, according to Santini's plans, the monastery was going to be connected to a monumental church that has never been built: a remarkable work in the context of heritage preservation.

The project was supported by a grant from Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway as part of the financial mechanism of the EEA. The total cost of the individual project was CZK 29,631,000. 15% were covered by the Czech Republic through the Ministry of Culture. (Out of this amount, CZK 9,425,000 were used for the Research Repository at Kynžvart château and CZK 20,206,000 for the Plasy monastery.)

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