The Louka Monastery in the town of Znojmo, Czech Republic, is for sale for CZK 160 million (USD 10 million). The person or company to offer the most can have it.
How come a historical landmark that dates back to the 17th century is for sale? The Office of the Government Representation in Property Affairs administers the building de iure, as it used to be owned by the Czech Army. But it has been almost unused and abandoned for almost 20 years (photo author: www.znojmo.biz).
According to the Czech law, the office has to adhere to the rules of the option to purchase that is granted to other state institutions, the local municipality, etc. They did not want it.
Not a surprise, the reconstruction will cost dozens of millions, the local daily reported. So the last option is to sell it in a public tender. It may not look like a tender, but it is.
The local municipality did not want the monastery even though it was offered it for free. The trick is that while the building is indeed for free, the associated conditions that the city would have to fulfill do cost money.
The city of Znojmo and its vicinity is a well-known wine region, so any future owner would want to cooperate with the municipality in order to attract tourist, whatever the final use might be. To this date some wine growers use the cellars.
It is quite common for “former landmarks” to be sold publicly. Usually some chateaus or tiny castles that are not protected by law as official landmarks end up in real estate for-sale-by-owner listings. Some of them have quite interesting history, and so the new owners are just as often eccentric people.
The company that buys the Louka Monastery will have to have money and business plan. Considering the current financial crisis, it is my qualified guess that it will have to “make money”, which means one of the most probable future use is as an expensive medical institution…