Architecture tourism in prague

The part of Prague that saw the greatest transformation  at the turn of the  18th and 19th century was the Jewish Quarters.

The Old Jewish ghetto in Prague, was established in 1215, after the issuing of the Lateran edicts by Pope Innocent III, this edicts severely affected the live of the Jewish population of Prague, by making it mandatory to segregate the Jewish population from the Christian majority, through the creation of a walled ghetto. I also forbade Jews from living anywhere else other than the Jewish ghetto, forbade Jews from owning the houses they lived in, and the land the houses were built on. Also,the Jews did not incest in the infrastructure of the ghetto, because they never knew when the would be chased out in an antisemitic pogrom.

 tourism in prague
tourism in prague

Therefore, by the late 1800s the ghetto was in a state of squalor and dilapidation because it had sewage systems, paved road etc, it had the attributes of a slum.
Further more, by the mid 1800s, the Jews in Prague were allowed to own Real Estate property, and because of the affluent status, most Jews could afford to vacate the dilapidated ghetto and move the the upmarket suburbs on Prague.
This left, the ghetto depopulated of its originally Jewish inhabitants and allowed for the lower classes of society to move in.
That is why, in the later part of the 1800s the derelict ghetto had a reputation of a red light district, complete with a number of brothels.

 tourism in prague
tourism in prague

After a lenghty debate , it was decided that the necessary infrastructure could not be fitted in and that meant that the old ghetto, with it picturesque cottage houses would be demolished.
While most of the residential houses were demolished most of the original synagogues remained untouched and today they form the basis of the Jewish museum in Prague.

After the demolition was completed, the street level in parts of the ghetto were raised by about 2 meters to combat the ever present risk of flooding.
The newly cleared lad then served as the foundation of the Jewish ghetto as we know it today , which is dominated by revivalist architecture and the then fashionable Art-Novae architecture.

tourism in prague
tourism in prague
 tourism in prague
tourism in prague
 tourism in prague
tourism in prague
 tourism in prague
tourism in prague
tourism in prague
tourism in prague
 tourism in prague
tourism in prague

Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.

 

Large numbers of books written in Czech were burned for confessional reasons – for example, Jesuit Antonín Koniáš alone is credited with burning as many as 30,000 Czech language books. Gradually, the Czech language was reduced to a means of communication between peasants, who were often illiterate. Therefore, the Revival looked for inspiration among ordinary Czechs in the countryside.

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As a result, the Czech language has been restored as an official language in the Czech lands and is now used by the vast majority of Czechs, and serves as an official language in the Czech Republic. However, due to the Revivalists’ reverence for the outdated language of the Kralice Bible, which they used as a model for their grammars and dictionaries, a gap emerged between the everyday, colloquial language, and the learned language of literature.

Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.
Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.

The Czech national revial was made possible by two pieces of law enacted by Emperor Joseph II. In 1781 he enacted the Patent of tolerance, which provided for religious freedom,and a patent for the abolition of serfdom, which allowed former serfs to move about freely without restrictions,or being dependent on their land holding nobility. This allowed the general population to travel , and exchange ideas, study in distant places, and conduct long range business transactions, which greatly enhanced the use of the Czech language.

Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.
Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.

But it was t the decision of Joseph II. to impose German as the official language, as the language of the instruction in all Czech universities, and secondary schools. It was these restrictions on the Czech language, that ignite fierce opposition from the leading figures of the Czech nation, creation the seeds of the Czech national revival.
With the renaissance of language, Czech culture flourished. Czech institutions were established to celebrate the Czech history and culture. The National Theatre opened in 1883 and the National Museum in 1818. And in 1873 the foundation stone for the building of the Cathedral of St. Vitus, Wenceslas and Adalbert. The Cathedral was completed and consecrated in1929, at the time of the. St. Wenceslas millennium.

 

Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.
Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.
Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.
Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.
Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.
Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.
Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.
Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.
Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.
Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.
Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.
Prague tourist guide to historical architecture.

Guide to prague architecture

 Revivalist architecture

Neo or Revivalist architecture came into vogue in the early 1800s and was a natural course of progression from the Empire style.
Revivalist architecture took its inspiration from previous historicial architectural styles and adapter them to the needs and taste of the mid -1800s, creating a imposing and monumental building that are classes as Neo-gothic, Neo Renaissance, Neo-Baroque.

Gothic Revival architecture often has certain features, derived from the original Gothic architecture style, including decorative patterns, finials, scalloping, lancet windows, hood mouldings, and label stops.
From Wikipedia

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In this era of national revival Prague experienced an expansion of its city limits, with the creation of industrial suburbs such as Karlin and Smichov, this industrial attachments to the city also reflected its growing wealth, which paid for the building of spacious modern boulevards such as the Wenceslas Square, Charles square, the National avenue.
Also this period brought about the building of several bridges over the Vltava rivers so that Prague did no have to solely rely only on the Charles Bridge as a means of crossing the river.

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Along with architectural change came a desire for political change, since the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, Czech lands suffered from the Germanisation politics of the Hapsburg Emperors.
The oppression was also connected with religion – up to 95% of the inhabitants of Bohemia were Protestants when the Habsburgs took power. Although the Habsburgs formerly promised freedom of religion, they started rampant anti-reformation and re-catholization efforts which made most of the Czech elites flee the country. This violent re-catholization is also one of the reasons behind today’s Czech atheism.
During the two following centuries the Czech language had been more or less eradicated from state administration, literature, schools, Charles University and among the upper classes.

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Prague highlights of architecture

 

Classicism and Empire style in Prague
approximately between the years 1780-1850.
Classicism means the “return to classic,” a return to the classical antiquity. This architectural style is closely associated with the “enlightened ruler” of Joseph II. (1780-1790). The style originated in and takes its name from the rule of Napoleon I of the First French Empire, when it was intended to idealize Napoleon’s leadership and the French state. The style corresponds in that intent to the Biedermeier style in the German-speaking lands, Federal style in the United States, and the Regency style in Britain. The previous style in France was called Louis XVI style.
The classicism and Empire style are typical adorned with images of: laurel wreaths, the heads of the Emperors, vases, pearls etc.

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This era is characterized by a curb on the power of power of the Catholic Church and the Jesuit order. The Jesuit order was abolished in 1773 by decision of Pope Clement XIV under pressure from the French Bourbons noble family.

Which was followed by a wave of closure of churches and monasteries, unleashed a Josef II. in the late 1800s.
Also an important event took place in Prague in 1784 – 4 of the city of Prague has been merged (old town, new town, lesser town and Hradcany), and the United Prague, as we understand it today.

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Prague city breaks

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Revivalist house on prague city breaks
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Architecture on tours of Prague

Baroque architecture in Prague VI

Late Baroque period in the Czech lands is associated primarily with the Government of Queen Maria Theresa (1740-1780), after whose death it became increasingly replaced by this style of classicism or Georgian type of Baroque

From the mid-17th century Baroque passes from its peak to late stage and then begins to create a style which is known for its even richer ornamentation and pastel colors, called Rococo.

Baroque architecture tours of Prague
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Rococo is derived from the word rokaj, which means shells.
It has the contours of Baroque, but adds plaster stucco décor and pastel color to make it richer.In some cases Rocco combines Baroque contours, rich plaster décor, pastel paint and Gold.Mussels or rokaj is a vital ornament, which appears on all of rococo monuments, and that is a kind of fastener.

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Historical architecture when traveling to Prague

Baroque architecture in Prague V

The oldest Baroque church in Prague is considered to be the Temple of the Virgin Mary Victorious in lesser town. It was built between1611-1613 as a late Renaissance Lutheran Church. After the battle of White Mountain was passed to the Karmelite order, who in 1644 reconstructed it, in the Baroque fashion.

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The most important architects of the Czech Baroque include Kryštof Dientzenhofer and his son Kilian Ignaz. Their common masterpiece became the first little church of Saint. Nicholas built in two stages in the years 1702-1715 and 1737-1751. Are the main representatives of the direction referred to as radical or dynamic Baroque, which is characterized by undulating walls and floor plans composed of intersections and ovals.

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Historical architecture on prague sights

Baroque architecture in Prague IV

The first  early Baroque palace in Prague  was the Wallenstein below the Prague castle, considered to be the oldest baroque palace in Central Europe. It was built in the years 1621-1630, Italian architects Giovanni Pieroni and Andrea Spezza. The client was Duke Albrecht of Wallenstein, architecture of the Wallenstein Palace was a direct improted from Florence and its design was inspired by contemporary Roman architecture.

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The palace was intended to in some ways rival the Prague castle, that is why 53 building were torn down to make way for the palace and it maze of gardens. Unfortunately, its construction stopped after the Duke was assassinated in Cheb.

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Historical achitecture on czech republic tours

Baroque architecture in Prague III

Baroque in it original meaning, meant something imperfect, a coarse or uneven surface.

Baroque used a composition of incomplete ellipse curves triangle and thick lines to break down and play with light, it then used movement and a dynamic elements in the statue, and together this stuns the perception of the viewer.

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Characteristic is the blurring of the boundaries between architecture, sculpture and painting in order to create a single common effect known as “holistic art”.

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An opulent display of grandeur glamour wealth. Which were especially visible  the splendid  interior decor of Baroque Churches.

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Historical architecture on city tour prague

Baroque architecture in Prague II

Early Baroque from 1620-1700, begins with the onset of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648).This war was sparked off when  in 1618 the Czech estates rebelled against the Hapsburg emperor by throwing  3 of his representative out of a window in the Prague castle, this ended in tragedy when all 27 Czech noble men that rebelled we publicly executed at the Old Town Square in the summer of 1621

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Along with the Hapsburg’s and Catholicism church ushering in a new era of Baroque architecture.

Pure Baroque in the Czech lands began to show up in the period after the battle on the White Mountain, in which the Catholic nobility won the battle and there after confiscated the estates of the rebelling nobility

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The newly confiscsated  wealth allowed the victorious Catholic nobility to invite  foreign architect to design their new Baroque palace and   especially Italians architects were in demand.

 

 

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