Landed property of the Cistercian houses of Bohemia 1142–1420

Ks. Franciszek Wolnik



In Rudy starting from the mid-13th century monks prayed and worked in accordance with the Benedictine rule ora et labora. In the course of time they built and developed a well prospering ‘industrial plant’ which constituted the basis of the abbey’s self-sufficiency. This article is a presentation of the initial endowment of the monastery, the course of colonization activities carried out by the monks and the monastery’s material development due to the dynamic success in agriculture, reasonably conducted forest management and broad industrial activities, including mines, forgery works, metallurgical plants and crafts such as distilleries and beekeeping. The Cistercians’ attitude to nature – well-worth imitating – was also discussed because in the areas that they exploited the natural environment was not damaged during the intensive economy managed by the monks. The Cistercians when necessary bought wood for the needs of the monastery and its economy in order not to destroy their own forests; they also stopped producing glass when they realised that its production led to the devastation of the environment and moreover, they created a rich network of roads. The Cistercians from Rudy left the environment practically intact. A few changes in the natural environment which they introduced skilfully blended in with the nature of the region.

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