Category: renaissance

renaissanceThe Italian renaissance arrived in Prague in the 16th century, bringing with it a revival of all things classical. The reign of Rudolf II in particular was a time of great accomplishments in the arts and sciences, and an increasing interest in the applied and decorative arts, even in vernacular architecture.

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Prague Castle: Ludvík Wing and ‘Bull’ Staircase

Halfway along the impressive southern rampart of Prague Castle stands the Ludvík wing, a five-storey bastion built between 1503 and 1509 and named after Ludvík Jagellonský, ruler of Bohemia from 1516 to 1526. Its architect, the master builder...

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Větrná ulička, Liberec: Waldstein houses

Houses with exposed timber frames (fachwerk) are a rare sight in the Czech Republic, but in towns where German influence was historically strong, there remain some good examples. In Liberec, this narrow lane near the main square has...

Black Pony house sign, Prague

Malé náměstí 456/14: The Black Pony

The Black Pony stands in the heart of the Old Town, one of a row of attractive renaissance town-houses which in the early fifteenth century were home to the city’s first pharmacies. Its neighbours include The Golden Lily...

Podskalí Customs House

Rašínovo nábřeží 412/30: Podskalí Customs House

Prior to the construction of the half-mile-long Rašín Embankment in 1904, visitors would have passed among the streets and low wooden buildings of ‘Podskalí’, a hamlet named for its position ‘under the rock’ of Vysehrad, the ancient fortified...

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Královský Letohrádek (Royal Summer Palace)

Perched high on the castle hill overlooking the city from a viewpoint known as the Belvedere, the palace is said to be the finest example of Italian renaissance architecture outside Italy itself. Commissioned by Emperor Ferdinand I for...

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Prague Castle: Míčovna (Ball-Game House)

The Great Ball Game House in the grounds of the castle dates from between 1567 and 1569 and is the work of Bonifaz Wohlmut, who also contributed to the nearby Royal Summer Palace as well as the Church...

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Staroměstské náměstí 604/14

The building directly in front of the well-known church of Our Lady before Týn in Prague’s Old Town Square (part of which is visible in the background) was originally a school, formed from the amalgamation of two Romanesque...

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Vejvodova 445/1

‘Dante Deo nihil nocet invidia, et eo non dante, nihil iuvat labor’ (‘With God’s grace, envy brings no pain; without His grace, all toil’s in vain’); ‘An Gottes Segen ist alles gelegen’ (‘Upon God’s blessing all depends’) AD...

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Malé náměstí

The oldest fountain in Prague stands in Malé náměstí (Little Square), not far from the more famous Old Town Square. What we see today was substantially remodelled from 1876 to 1878 by the master of the neo-gothic, Josef...

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Malostranské náměstí 203/14

Restored renaissance sgraffito at the pharmacy U černého orla (The Black Eagle), also known as U kocoura (The Cat) after the pub which shared its premises. A chemist’s has stood here since 1488, and the present-day pharmaceutical giant...