0 Likes

St. Vitus Cathedral
Prague
The Jewel of Prague's Crown The present day Gothic Cathedral was founded on 21st of November, 1344, when the Prague bishopric was raised to an archbishopric. Its patrons were the chapter of cathedral (led by a Dean), the Archbishop Arnost of Pardubice, and, above all, Charles IV, King of Bohemia and a soon-to-be Holy Roman Emperor, who intended the new cathedral to be a coronation church, family crypt, treasury for the most precious relics of the kingdom, and the last resting place cum pilgrimage site of patron saint Wenceslaus. The first master builder was a Frenchman Matthias of Arras, summoned from the papal palace in Avignon. Matthias designed the overall layout of the building as, basically, an import of French Gothic: a triple-naved basilica with flying buttresses, short transept, five-bayed choir and decagon apse with ambulatory and radiating chapels. However, he lived to build only the easternmost parts of the choir: the arcades and the ambulatory. The slender verticality of Late French Gothic and clear, almost rigid respect of proportions distinguish his work today. After Matthias' death in 1352, a new master builder took over the cathedral workshop. This was Peter Parler, at that time only 23-years old and son of the architect of the Heiligenkreutzkirche in Schwäbische Gmünd. Parler at first only worked according to the plans left by his predecessor, building the sacristy on the north side of the choir and the chapel on the south. Once he finished all that Matthias left unfinished, he continued according to his own ideas. Parler's bold and innovative design brought in a unique new synthesis of Gothic elements in architecture. This is best exemplified in the vaults he designed for the choir. The so-called Parler's vaults or net-vaults have double (not single, as in classic High Gothic groin vaults) diagonal ribs that span the width of the choir-bay. The crossing pairs of ribs create a net-like construction (hence the name), which considerably strengthens the vault. They also give a lively ornamentation to the ceiling, as the interlocking vaulted bays create a dynamic zigzag pattern down the length of the cathedral. While Matthias of Arras was schooled as a geometer, thus putting an emphasis on rigid systems of proportions and clear, mathematical compositions in his design, Parler was trained as sculptor and woodcarver. He treated architecture as a sculpture, almost as if playing with structural forms in stone. Aside from his rather bold vaults, the peculiarities of his work can also be seen in the design of pillars (with classic, bell-shaped columns which were almost forgotten by High Gothic), the ingenious dome vault of new St Wenceslaus chapel, the undulating clerestory walls, the original window tracery (no two of his windows are the same, the ornamentation is always different) and the blind tracery pannels of the buttresses. Architectural sculpture was given a considerable role while Parler was in charge of construction, as can be seen in the corbels, the passageway lintels, and, particularly, in the busts on the triforium, which depict faces of the royal family, saints, Prague bishops, and the two master builders, including Parler himself. Work on the cathedral, however, proceeded rather slowly, due to the fact that in the meantime the Emperor commissioned Parler with many other projects, such as the construction of the new Charles bridge in Prague and many churches throughout the Czech realm. By 1397, when Peter Parler died, only the choir and parts of the transept were finished. After Peter Parler's death in 1406 his sons, Wenzel Parler and particularly Johannes Parler, continued his work; they in turn were succeeded by a certain Master Petrilk, who by all accounts was also a member of Parler's workshop. Under these three masters, the transept and the great tower on its south side were finished. So was the gable which connects the tower with the south transept. Nicknamed 'Golden Gate' (likely because of the golden mosaic of Last Judgment depicted on it), it is through this portal that the kings entered the cathedral for coronation ceremonies. The entire building process came to a halt with the beginning of Hussite War in the first half of 15th century. The war brought an end to the workshop that operated steadily over for almost a century, and the furnishings of cathedral, dozens of pictures and sculptures, suffered heavily from the ravages of Hussite iconoclasm. As if this was not enough, a great fire in 1541 considerably damaged the cathedral. From the article in Wikipedia.
Copyright: Jeffrey Martin
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 7000x3500
Uploaded: 04/09/2008
Updated: 02/06/2014
Views:

...


Tags: landmark
comments powered by Disqus

Jeffrey Martin
St. Vitus Cathedral
Jeffrey Martin
St. Vitus Cathedral
Jeffrey Martin
St. Vitus Cathedral
Valentin Arfire
5 Aug 2008 Prague Palace Courtyard
Zoltan Duray
St. Vitus Cathedral - Praha (Prague)
Valentin Arfire
3 Aug 2008 Prague cathedral
Jeffrey Martin
St. Vitus Cathedral - Tower
Jeffrey Martin
St. Vitus Cathedral - Tower
Jeffrey Martin
St. Vitus Cathedral - Tower
Jeffrey Martin
St. Vitus Cathedral - Tower
Sergey Kalinin
Prag St Vitus Cathedral
Petr Prager
Prazský hrad I Nadvori
Farjoun, Daniel
Prainha at Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Sandor Veress
Gellert Baths and Spa Budapest
Ruediger Kottmann
Trier - Innenhof der Porta Nigra
Florian Knorn
In the tower of the Ulmer Münster
Geoff Mather
Panotools 2010 Cider Farm Shop Devon Uk
Robin Waarts
Rotterdam city hall council chamber
Tom Sadowski
Trans Alaska Pipeline near Copper Center, Alaska
Seungsang Yoo(유승상)
Taklamakan Desert road Protection
Matt Mascheri
Prayer Room Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon Myanmar
Ruediger Kottmann
Voelklinger Huette - Besuchergruppe am Abstich des Hochofens
sk vadim
Driving Railway Tunnel in Tunnel Complex No. 6, Sochi, Russia
Thang Bui
Military Museum
Jeffrey Martin
Tequila Streets 2390
Jeffrey Martin
Timisoara, Summer 2009 - 63
Jeffrey Martin
Orlicky, Summer 2010 - 21
Jeffrey Martin
Jungmannovo Namesti
Jeffrey Martin
Gillson Park - Wilmette Beach - Lake Michigan - 6
Jeffrey Martin
2103
Jeffrey Martin
Torre Milizie (Tower of Milizie) shooting The Rome Gigapixel 1
Jeffrey Martin
Img 9441 Img 9444 4 Images
Jeffrey Martin
Mcyorgas Taco Stand - Tequila Streets 3294
Jeffrey Martin
Rožmberk nad Vltavou - Castle and Village - 9
Jeffrey Martin
Hospoda u Cerneho Vola
Jeffrey Martin
Hotel Mision Tequillan
More About Prague

  Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, has long attracted artists and wandering spirits, although it was originally inhabited by prehistoric fish. Their inland sea filled the basin contained by the Tatras and Carpathian mountains, but when it eventually dried up they were forced to yield the terrain to dinosaurs, wooly mammoths and Neanderthals.     In human times the Celtic tribes came to reside here, leaving remains dating back to the 4th Century B.C.  Their tribal name, Boii, gives the root of the word "Bohemia".  The three separate territories of Bohemia, Silesia and Moravia now make up the modern Czech Republic, which split from Slovakia in the 1993 "Velvet Divorce."     Thanks to its enigmatic founder, the city of Prague derives a magnetic appeal for visionaries, scientists and astronomers.  The historical figure credited with the launch of Prague is Princess Libuse, a visionary prophet and warrior who once stood atop the hill at Vysehrad and made the prophecy as follows,     "I see a vast city, whose glory will touch the stars!"     This indeed came to pass after she took Otokar Premysl to be her husband and King, launching the Premyslid dynasty, and leaving it to rule for the first four hundred years of Czech history.  When the last Premyslid king, Wenceslas III, died without producing a male heir, the fourteen year-old John of Luxembourg came to take the throne of the Czech lands.     Hot-headed John died in battle, but his diplomatic son Charles IV inherited the throne and, through keen multi-lingual savvy, managed to both keep it and earn the title "Father of the Czech Nation."     Charles IV was the first of the Holy Roman Emperors here; he ruled during the height of Prague's elegance and splendour. This is the man to know if you want to understand Prague's layout.  He sponsored the construction of such landmarks as the Charles Bridge, the Hunger Wall and St. Vitus' Cathedral, as well as personally designing the neighborhood called New Town (Nove Mesto) which has for its center Karlovo Namesti or Charles Square.     The city displays every branch of architecture across the last thousand years, including Cubism, a style which you will be hard-pressed to find applied to buildings anywhere else in the world.  Beyond the stunning visual makeup of the city, there is a wealth of nightlife and entertainment, beginning with the legendary concert halls including the Rudolfinum, National Theater, Estates Theater and the Municipal House.     After investigating the Castle and Bridge, which are the most heavily-trafficked tourist areas, take a look around Zizkov and Letna, two of the cooler neighborhoods for bars and restaurants.     However quiet it may seem after ten PM, Prague is alive and throbbing in an endless array of basement bars, pubs, clubs, discos and pool halls waiting to be discovered by the intrepid subterranean adventurer.  To get an idea of what lies in store, check out the panoramas for Chateau and Palac Akropolis and when you're out and about, make sure you look for the stairs down to the cellar.      Apart from shopping, eating, drinking and wearing out your digital camera, delve into the rich green carpet of Prague's parks, many of which lie only walking-minutes from the city center.Text by Steve Smith.