The original Cistercian monastery was founded in Žďár nad Sázavou in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands by a Znojmo burgrave in 1252. In the late 17th century, the building was hit by a great fire, and the famous Jan Blažej Santini-Aichel and other artists were invited shortly afterwards to reconstruct it.
Due to another fire, the monastery was then shut down and turned into a castle. The core of the former abbatial building and of a part of the convent is Gothic but the farm buildings on the first courtyard are built in the Baroque style.
The monastery and castle grounds today offer a multimedia and creative tour, which allows the visitors to experience the history, life, creativity and beautiful landscape of Žďár Hills through a story. Thanks to an audio guide everyone can walk around the castle on their own and choose one of five tours: New Generation Museum (an experience exhibition), Following Santini’s footprints (a commented guided tour around the castle), Baroque Art (a permanent exhibition of Baroque painting and sculpture), Fishery (about fishing at medieval castle fish hatcheries), and the Gallery of the Kinský Family (an exhibition mapping the history of the Kinský family, the current owners of the castle).