The Centre for Building Heritage project’s realization site is the grounds of a former Plasy monastery in the north of Pilsner region, which belongs among the most significant monastic complexes in Central Europe. Vladislaus II, Duke of Bohemia, installed Cistercian monks in Plasy in mid-12th century. The colonisation order started to manage a vast estate before long. However, the monastery’s further development was hindered by the Hussites’ movement – buildings were demolished, the monastic community slaughtered or scattered.
A change occurred after the battle of Bílá Hora when Emperor Ferdinand II returned the land to the monks thus commencing a new era of the monastery’s growth. It began to prosper again and once necessary repairs had been completed, a period of daring building enterprises began. The last twenty years of the 17th century saw a new grand prelacy building as well as an elegant monastery granary with a clock tower built according to plans of renowned architect Jean Baptista Mathey and overseen by abbot Ondřej Trojer. Trojer’s successor abbot Evžen Tyttl invited no less celebrated architect Jan Blažej Santini to Plasy. Santini prepared a magnificent conception of a fundamental redesign of monastery buildings, including a new church. In the first half of the 18th century, a part of the daring project was carried out - the majestic convent building built on an ingenious system of oak timber beams fortifying the marshes underneath its foundations.
In 1785 Emperor Josef II’s decree abolished the monastery. The monks had to leave, the prospering estate passed to the state Religious Fund. Forty years later, the estate was bought by Reichs-chancellor Prince Metternich, who founded ironworks here. He had the former prelacy converted into a chateau and the former parish church into his tomb. Metternich’s descendants owned the Plasy monastery till the end of WWII, when it was confiscated.
The protected heritage buildings were subsequently used for various administration and agricultural purposes and fell into significant disrepair. However, the Czech state successfully reacquired the buildings in the early 2000s and commenced a preparation process for their systematic preservation and repairs. The National Technical Museum took over the buildings of former farming facilities of the monastery into its keeping in 2008. It was a former brewery building and former farmyard that became the site of the Centre for Building Heritage project.