Prague Minos Guide

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15. - 17. století


From massive defensive constructions towards
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Renaissance was born in Florence in the beginning of the 15th century within a circle of educated humanists; therefore at the time when the Gothic of the Luxembourg era was culminating in Bohemia. The first Renaissance architectural forms in Prague appeared at the very end of the 15th century in the Prague Castle, in the shape of the outstanding windows of the Vladislavský Hall in Prague Castle or the side portal of the nearby church of St. George.
The foundation of Renaissance architecture is the rediscovery of the Antique architecture of religious and secular building structures. The first purely Renaissance building in Prague is the summer palace of Queen Anna started by Paolo della Stella in 1538 and finished by Bonifác Wohlmut in 1563, who also participated in the construction of other Renaissance structures in the Prague Castle, such as the organ loft in the cathedral

of St. Vitus or the "Stará Sněmovna" (Old Chamber) in the Old Royal Palace. Both structures represent interesting combination of Renaissance and Gothic. It, then, came to express continuity inside the Czech Kingdom.
After the middle of the 16th century, the Renaissance style became very popular and many houses and palaces have aspects of this style, for instance the house u Dvou Medvědů in the Old Town, or the arcade house of Granovský in the Old Town Ungelt, or the sgraffito of the Schwarzenberg Palace or Martinický Palace.
Renaissance architecture in Prague thrived also during Rudolf the Second´s reign, along with the Mannerist and Proto-Baroque. There are exceptional exemples of high quality Neo-Renaissance constructions echoing Renaissance treatises (for instance the portal opening onto the garden at the church of the Virgin Mary Victorious, Lesser Town).


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