Velehrad is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Moravia. Its heart is the Baroque Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and Saints Cyril and Methodius. Beneath the basilica is a lapidarium showing historical monuments from the original Romanesque monastery. The Golden Rose is also on display here – an award given to Velehrad by Pope John Paul II. There is also an exhibition on Christian martyrs of the 20th century – the Martyrion.
The history of Velehrad began more than 800 years ago, when the first 12 Cistercian monks came to the valley of the Salaška River to build their monastery near the village of Veligrad (today’s Staré Město – or Old Town). It was on the basis of its location that the monastery got its name and it soon became the bearer of a much older spiritual tradition, which dates back to the ninth century, when the Slavic heralds Cyril and Methodius came to Moravia.