Prague architecture

Charming Prague Hotels | 22. 6. 2015

Prague is beautiful city where we can on a relatively small area find many different styles and cultural influences. It is one of the few cities in Europe, which can boast about so many architectural monuments across twelve centuries.
Although Prague (more about Prague here) is represented by many architectural styles, it does not work disturbingly or chaotically. In spite of seeing so many diverse styles in the city we feel that everything works together very harmoniously. We can say: it adds to it some kind of mysterious glamour, which is unbelievable charming for everybody.
Let the journey across twelve centuries of Prague's architecture starts.

The most significant buildings by style :

Romanesque
Romanesque architecture is characterised by massiveness, round arches, heavy vaulting, small windows and simple cushion shaped capitals cut from a single cube of stone. Piers are simple cylinders, or more commonly moulded with geometric patterns. The arches and entryways usually have zig-zag or chevron patterns around them.
Two basic types:
Rotunda - building with a circular ground plan, often covered by a dome
Basilica - rectangular building, whose interior space is divided longitudinally between three or more aisles.
The most significant buildings in Prague: Basilica of St. George at Prague Castle, St Martin Rotunda at Vysehrad

Gothic
Gothic architecture is presented by majestic churches and cathedrals, castles and fortress, but also at the city halls, burgher houses, bridges and fortifications. Building material has become the cornerstone. This new technique allowed to building high. This new technique allowed building high inadequate large buildings with large windows. A typical feature of Gothic architecture is a refracted arch, which builders conclude arch windows and entrances.
Basic signs of gothic architecture: equilateral arch, flamboyant arch, depressed arch, symbolism and ornamentation
The most significant buildings in Prague: St Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge, Old Town Hall Tower, Powder Gate, Bethlehem Chapel, Virgin Mary in front of Týn Cathedral, St. Martin in Wall Church, Karolinum – Charles University etc.

Renaissance
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th century in different regions of Europe, in which there was a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Origin of this architecture style is placed to Italy. It`s based on the revival of classical, especially Roman, architecture developed by Brunelleschi. It is characterized by a concern with balance, clarity and proportion. And at last but not least, by the external use of columns and fluted pilasters. There was discovered new kind of decoration called sgrafito facades.
New types of buildings: urban palaces and urban and suburban villas. In addition, the stone began to be used in much larger quantities of materials like marble and bricks.
The most significant buildings in Prague:
Prague Castle: Hall of Vladislav, Royal Summer Palace (Queen’s Ann Summer Palace), Rozmberk Palace, Lobkovic Palace, Summer Palace Hvezda
(find more about Prague Castle)
Old Town Houses: At five crowns, At minute
Others: Schwarzenberg Palace, Martinice Palace, st. Salvator church (with later baroque modifications)

Baroque
In Baroque architecture new importance was placed on bold massing, colonnades, domes, light-and-shade (chiaroscuro – it means contrast between light and dark.), rich colours, golden mosaic of paint. Churches are built as an image of heaven, carried on the ground, palaces and castles represented wealth and power. Very often are houses and churches built in the Gothic ground plan.
The most significant buildings in Prague: st. Nicolas church in Lesser Square, st. Nicolas church at Old Town sq., Troja Chateau, Klementinum, st. Marketa church in Brevnov monastery, St. Ignatius durch, Wallenstein palace and garden, Cernín palace, Pallfy palace.

Classicism
Buildings are simply decorated, have a triangular gables, equal to the net line, using the ancient pillars, columns and lintels. Often we can see semicircular arches, hemispherical domes and niches. It is banks, offices, hospitals and theatres, not church buildings.
Classicism in architecture developed during the Italian Renaissance, especially in the writings and designs of Leon Battista Alberti and the work of Filippo Brunelleschi. This style quickly spread to other Italian cities and then to France, Germany, England, Russia and elsewhere.
The most significant buildings in Prague: Estates Theatre, Hybernia house, Rohanský palace, villa Kinských, Bertramka - W. A. Mozart museum

Neo-Renaissance
It is a historic artistic style 2nd half of 19th century, which is based on the Renaissance. Czech neo-renaissance is connected with national awareness. This style is often applied in the construction of large public buildings (theatres, museums, national houses, hall, banks, railway stations, schools, etc.). At the end of the 19th century are beginning of appearing neo-renaissance construction elements of Art Nouveau. It is also common, that the Renaissance buildings have Art Nouveau interiors.
The most significant buildings in Prague: National Theatre, Rudolfinum, St Ludmila Church, The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul at Vysehrad, Coffee Slávie, Exhibition place in Holešovice and many houses at New Town square


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