The history of the stone bridge in Žďár nad Sázavou has a connection to the local Cistercian Order monastery. The order came to this area from their Western Bohemian monastery in Nepomuk (which was then called Pomuk) in 1252. The original Gothic structure underwent numerous architectural alterations and acquired its Baroque appearance during the time of Abbot Václav Vejmluva at the beginning of the 18th century. The important Czech architect of Italian origin, Jan Blažej Santini, took part in the design of the Baroque makeover, which continued during the time of the subsequent Abbot Bernard Hennet (1699-1770), who commissioned in 1751 the building of a new Baroque bridge. In the years between 1761 and 1766 statues of eight saints, the work of an unknown artist, were placed on the bridge. The statues stand on substantial pedestals and have chronograms with descriptions of the saints. The sculptural ornamentation was inspired by the statues on Charles Bridge in Prague and consists of statues of four saints connected to the history of the Czech Lands – St Cyril and St Methodius, St Adalbert and St John of Nepomuk and other four saints, prominent in Christian history – the Apostle St Paul, St Nicholas, St Benedict and St Bernard of Cairvaux, the spiritual leader of the Cistercian Order. The original statues remained on the bridge until May 2009, when they were dismantled for the purpose of restoration and replaced by identical copies. The intention is to install the originals in the Lower Cemetery in Žďár nad Sázavou.