The Ročov Monastery as the Basis of the Patronage Tradition
The Augustinian monastery in Dolní Ročov with the Church of the Assumption of Mary was founded in 1373 by Albrecht the Elder of Kolowrat, together with his two sons. In the charter of the Order, the family undertook to support the monastery financially. The Hussite Wars left an extensive mark on the building, so the brothers Václav and Jiří Kolowrat-Bezdružičtí had the entire monastery repaired. In 1629, members of the Kolowrat family concluded a family contract, which stipulated, inter alia, the maintenance of the monastery in Dolní Ročov and its financial patronage. After the Thirty Years War, which was another disaster for the monastery, it was repaired in the mid-17th century at the expense of the Imperial Council Kryštof Jaroslav Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1749–1824).
The biggest changes came to Dolní Ročov in the first half of the 18th century. In 1715, Norbert Leopold Count Kolowrat-Liebsteinský, holder of the Order of the Golden Fleece, ordered an extensive reconstruction of the church from the Baroque architect Jan Blažej Santini Aichel. A tower was added to the façade and a cemetery chapel was established. Due to the damage caused by repeated rainstorms, it was decided to completely rebuild the monastery’s church. In 1746, the project was entrusted to another important Baroque architect, Kilian Ignatius Dietzenhofer. After his death, the responsibility for the works was transferred to Anselm Luraga, who was instrumental in the building of a new monastery.
The monastery is associated with a family legend. After the reconstruction, a remarkable phenomenon began to take place in the monastery church. The tombstone of Albrecht the Elder of Kolowrat began to dampen without external cause. And sometimes so much so that there were droplets of water visible on it. The stone’s “sweat” was said to have always heralded a serious event in the family, a severe illness or death. Every time the gravestone was dewed, the prior sent letters to the members of the family and warned them of the impending danger. In 1950, the monastery was abolished and converted into a prison and subsequently a barracks, and the premises were further used as a children's psychiatric hospital. Subsequently, the monastery was returned to the order of St. Augustine, which is currently undertaking an effort to reconstruct the buildings.
Albrecht the Elder of Kolowrat (d. 1391) with his wife, Anna of Seeberk giving the Dolní Ročov church over to the care of the Virgin Mary; votiv tableau from the Dolní Ročov Gradual
Norbert Leopold Count Kolowrat-Liebsteinský (1655–1716)
Ročov Monastery, postcard from 1905
Ročov monastery, Church of the Assumption of Mary, 1930
Facade of the Church of the Assumption of Mary belonging to Ročov monastery
Church of the Assumption of Mary belonging to Ročov monastery
Memorial plaque with the names and crests of Jindřich and Oldřich František Counts t Kolowrat-Liebsteinský