Receiving Guests at Novy Dvur
Saint Benedict says that guests should never lack anything at the monastery. The guesthouse of our abbey was conceived to receive with quality. Inaugurated in 2009, it was installed in former stables built in the Baroque style around 1760 at the same time of the Abbey of Tepla. The vaulted rooms of the ground floor recall that origin. On the upper story – originally used for storing hay – one can see period carpentry in the hallways and in the rooms.
The Reception Area and the Store
On the ground floor, the reception area takes up the north part of the guesthouse. Visitors will find a photo exposition which will help them get an idea of the monastic life. They also will be able to see two film presentations done by Mrs. Šandová of the Czech television. The first tells of the history of the construction of the monastery; the second shows the unfolding of a day in the monastic life. Each one lasts 30 minutes. The abbey store offers products made by the monks of Novy Dvur (mustards and cosmetics) and those of other monastic communities (rosaries, icons, images, etc.), including a selection of books.
Since the majority of our brothers are still young and in formation, the reception area and the store are only open on the weekends:
Saturday from 2:30 to 4:45 pm.
Sunday and Feast days from 9:00 to 10:00 am, after the Mass, from 2:30 to 3:45 pm.
It is possible to open the store upon request: email@example.com or (420)353 300 525.
The monastery interior is not open to tourists or to architecture students. The monastic life does not allow entry to visitors. Concerning this point, please click here to consult the text What did they go to see in the desert?
Construction of a chapel in the near future
As soon as possible, we will build a guesthouse chapel, accessible to all visitors. One can celebrate Mass there and come to pray in the daytime. While waiting for the chapel to open, we thank our visitors for their patience and their comprehension.
Participate in Our Life of Prayer and of Silence
Those who so wish (gentlemen, priests and religious) may pass a few days (up to one week) at the guesthouse to share our life of silence and of prayer. During their stay, guests participate in the liturgical offices in our church. They may consecrate time to prayer and to reading. If they so desire, they can meet a priest of the community who is in charge of retreatants, or ask to have manual work. Then afterwards they return to their own life, fortified by the life of prayer which they have shared with the monks.
On the upper floor are the bedrooms with one bed. The showers and bathrooms are either in the bedrooms or outside of the bedrooms. A small library proposes a choice of books. A chapel, on the ground floor, is always open. Part of the guesthouse is reserved to our families, when they come to visit us. In certain conditions, it is possible to receive groups wishing to do a retreat. Please take into account that the number of bedrooms being limited, the brother guestmaster may not always be able to accept your request on the desired dates.
To contact the brother guestmaster:
firstname.lastname@example.org or (420) 353 300 525 and leave a message.
The dining rooms are on the ground floor. The guests take their meals in silence and listen either to music or to the book being read in the monks’ refectory. They help set and clean the tables and help do the dishes.
Cost of staying
The price of the stay is indicated in the bedrooms. We are prepared to offer our guests a part or all of the cost of their stay, in such a way that financial difficulties may not be an obstacle to staying at the monastery.
Respect of silence
To preserve silence, we ask our guests not to use their portable telephone while inside the guesthouse. At the guesthouse there is no access to the Internet. Silence is respected by all, as being beneficial to everyone.
Finding the guesthouse of Novy Dvur
If you have a GPS navigator, enter: Dobrá Voda, Toužim.
We ask our guests to arrive before Vespers (see the monastic schedule, below). In case of being late, it is indispensable to call the brother guestmaster at (420)353 300 525 and to leave a message.
Access to the monastery
By bus from Prague: go to Plzeň and then, on the line Plzeň-Karlovy Vary, get off at Bezvěrov (there still remains 9,3 km to do by foot, on the road), or else at Nežichov (6.5 km to do by foot), or else at Toužim (11 km).
By train: get off at the station of Tepla (11 km).
Where is the Abbey of Novy Dvur? – Click on the map.
|Ordinary days:||Sunday and Feast Days:|
|3 H 15 Night office||3 H 15 Night office|
|6 H 30 Lauds and Mass||7 H 00 Lauds|
|9 H 00 Terce||10 H 05 Terce, then Mass|
|12 H 00 Sext||12 H 00 Sext|
|14 H 00 None||14 H 00 None|
|17 H 15 Vespers||15 H 45 Vespers|
|19 H 15 Compline||17 H 35 Adoration of the Holy Sacrament|
|19 H 15 Compline|
This is the winter schedule. In the summer, Vespers and Compline are 15 minutes later.
We entered Novy Dvur to respond to a call of the Lord inviting us to lead the monastic life, that is to say: to praise God, to get closer to him through prayer in a bond of friendship, to intercede for our contemporaries, who need his support and his grace. Please know that our prayer is also for you.
We regularly send free information to our friends. If you would to receive it, too, click here or write us at:
Abbey Our Lady of Novy Dvur
Dobra Voda 20, CZ 364 01 Toužim
What did they go to see in the desert?
We have chosen, or at least accepted, the life of the desert.
But let us be very careful not to seek
to make it by any means habitable.
It would no longer be a desert, a land of deprivation, a place of passage.
Anthony penetrated deep into the desert’s interior, wrote Saint Athanase, bishop of Alexandria, about the first monk of Egypt. Each time that the crowds, drawn by his reputation, invaded his hermitage, the father of monks went deeper into the desert and into contemplation. Far from our minds is the idea of moving out of the Abbey of Novy Dvur, which is barely finished. But our intention is certainly to follow that example.
The guests who we receive in the monastery, the members of our families or the retreatants who come to share our life for a few days, integrate themselves harmoniously with our community: they and the brothers each have their own space. With passing visitors, things are not as easy. Tourists come to “see,” but there is nothing to see… The essential part of our life is not the kind of thing one can look at. And when a bus comes through, filled with these curious people who want to “see” the monks, even if they try to resist, through painful efforts, the temptation to photograph us, forty pairs of eyes turned up to the heights of the building to admire the aspects of the architecture are trying the patience of the brothers who chant the office. Many monasteries have been smothered by this type of visitor, but this is not the only reason for our vigilance. Another one is even more important: what do they get from this, these people who come through in groups, who pass a few minutes among us, for a short office. What did they come to seek in the desert? A reed swaying in the wind?
Penetrate deeply into the interior desert, and do not fix up the desert: two expressions which, in an interval of centuries, point out the same reality. The asceticism of the monk is above all not about fasting, or silence, or getting up at night. It is refusing the subtle temptation of making oneself useful to people other than by the accomplishment of his hidden vocation. Even if no witness has taken note of our presence, the monk, by affirming the transcendence of God by simple acts, by personal prayer, and by the liturgical office, pushes back indifference and atheism, beats down persecution, combats all kinds of violence, puts peace in wounded hearts, permits divided families to discover their unity…the list is endless. Whoever runs up against the walls of a monastery without being able to enter, leaves impressed by the existence of these hidden monks who they were not able to “see.” He feels the value of their solitary life and of their contemplation. By refusing to give ourselves over to hurried visitors, we help them more, by our withdrawal, than by lending ourselves to their curiosity. In addition – and this isn’t a small thing – we preserve the conditions that will let us reply to a vocation of which we have not ourselves defined the criteria, but rather the Church, and God by means of the calling directed to our hearts. If some people have a hard time grasping the meaning of these reflections, let them know that our vocation remains sometimes – even for us – difficult to understand and to accept.
Thus we must arrange things as best we can. We systematically refuse all contact made by travel agents, as well as by groups of architects or students who come for a “visit.” We are not a museum. The groups that come through our monastery, whether they are Christians or not, are welcomed at the guesthouse where a film introduces our life. If they have announced their coming beforehand, we try to find a good solution. As for individuals, we try to guess their motivations: tourists or not… Clothing is often a good criteria: one doesn’t enter a church with just any clothing. If you happen to be in the neighbourhood, and if you want to share in our prayer, it would be prudent to contact the gatekeeper so as not to be confused with these undevoted visitors (00 420 353 300 503, email@example.com). Two good films have been made by Mrs. Šandova, of Czech television. The first tells about the construction of the monastery and its foundation, up to the dedication of the church; the second one follows the rhythm of a monastic day. Even if time is lacking for us to commercialise the second film (the first one is nearly sold out), we hold on to copies of both for priests who would like to introduce the monastic life to their flocks. A community of monks can strongly encourage today’s Christians. They can share our prayer and receive its fruit in other ways than coming “to see.”
Father Procopius, responsible for retreatants