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Unesco sites in the Czech Republic


Gardens and Castle at Krom

Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava, at the foot of the Chriby mountain range which dominates the central part of Moravia. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens.

The Gardens and Castle at Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a princely residence and its associated landscape of the 17th and 18th centuries. The ensemble, and in particular the pleasure garden, played a significant role in the development of Baroque garden and palace design in central Europe

Kroměříž did not achieve the status of a fortified until the mid-13th century, when a Gothic fort was constructed, and the town prospered in the succeeding centuries. In 1497 Stanislav Thurzo became Bishop of Olomouc and he set about reconstructing and modernizing his castle at Kroměříž. At first this work was carried out using the late Gothic style of the period, but Renaissance elements began to filter in as the work progressed. Bishop Thurzo also established a garden, comprising orchard, kitchen garden and flower garden, which was praised by King Vladislav II when he visited Kroměříž in 1509.


The history of KromerĂ­z began with the establishment of a settlement in the floodplain of the Morava river in the 9th century AD during the Greater Moravian Period. By the 12th century, when it belonged to the Bishopric of Olomouc, the original fortified site had disappeared. It did not achieve the status of a fortified town again until the mid13th century, when a Gothic fort was constructed. The town prospered in the succeeding centuries, becoming the centre of the organization of vassals of the episcopal domains.

Once the garden was finished Tencalla's attention turned to the design and construction of a magnificent episcopal castle and residence. This was to be his masterpiece, in the tradition of the north Italian Baroque school of Genoa and Turin. Nonetheless, it respected its Gothic predecessor, elements of which were blended into the new complex. Meanwhile, Bishop Karel was furnishing the interiors, creating a picture gallery that contained many masterpieces.

The see was raised to an archbishopric in 1777 and the first archbishop, Colloredo-Waldsee, was responsible for the restyling of the Castle Garden in accordance with the romantic approach of the late 18th century. The Pleasure Garden, however, preserved its Baroque geometrical layout. The work on the Castle Garden continued well into the 19th century, with the construction of arcades, bridges, and even a model farmstead. Much of this was carried out under the supervision of the architect AntonĂ­n Arche between 1830 and 1845.

The castle was affected by the fire that swept through the town in March 1752. Bishop Leopold Bedrich Eghk oversaw the restoration, bringing in artists and craftsmen to carry out the work, notably the Viennese painter Franz Anton Maulbertsch and the Moravian artists Josef Stern.


Historic Centre of Český Krumlov

Situated on the banks of the Vltava river, the town was built around a 13th-century castle with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. It is an outstanding example of a small central European medieval town whose architectural heritage has remained intact thanks to its peaceful evolution over more than five centuries.

Český Krumlov is located on an ancient east-west communication route at a crossing of the Vltava River. The earliest documentary record of 1253 refers to the existence there of a castle belonging to a member of the ruling Vitkovici family of south Bohemia. The core of the Castle (Hrádek) dates from the 13th century. Settlement developed to the east (Latràn) and also on the opposite bank of the river round a central square. This multi-nodal urban development is a characteristic of medieval town development, especially in northern and central Europe.

It was the seat of the influential Rožmberk family for 300 years from the mid-14th century. The Gothic Castle was reconstructed in Renaissance style, with the involvement of leading artists of the period. The wealth and importance of the town is reflected in the high quality of many of the burgher houses, since the presence of the seat of government led to Český Krumlov becoming an important craft and trade centre. There was also considerable ecclesiastical development, illustrated by the major 15th century church of St Vitus and monasteries of various preaching and itinerant Orders. The town later passed to the equally influential Schwarzenberg family, and it retained its importance well into the 19th century.


There are two main historic areas - the Latràn area below the Castle and the town proper on the opposite bank, in the meander of the Vltava River. The town has a regular street layout, typical of the planned towns of the Middle Ages, with streets radiating out from the central square and a circular intra-rampart road. The Castle contains elements from the Gothic, High Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. It is dominated by the Gothic Hradek with its round tower: this was subsequently converted into a Baroque chateau with the addition of a garden, the Bellaire summer palace, a winter riding school, and a unique Baroque theatre of 1766.

Both Latràn and the town proper contain undisturbed ensembles of burgher houses from High Gothic onwards. They are notable for their facades, internal layouts, and decorative detail, especially carved wooden Renaissance ceilings.

The Church of St Vitus, dating from the early 15th century, anticipates High Gothic in its reticulated vaulting and is significant in the European context. Other important historic elements are the Renaissance Jesuit College and Baroque seminary, the Town Hall (created by combining several burgher houses and embellishing them with a Renaissance facade), the remains of the fortifications, especially the Budĕjovická Gate (a Renaissance structure, modelled on Italian originals), and the Renaissance armoury in Latrán.


Historic Centre of Prague

Built between the 11th and 18th centuries, the Old Town, the Lesser Town and the New Town speak of the great architectural and cultural influence enjoyed by this city since the Middle Ages. The many magnificent monuments, such as Hradcani Castle, St Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge and numerous churches and palaces, built mostly in the 14th century under the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV.

Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe in terms of its setting on both banks of the Vltava River, its townscape of burger houses and palaces punctuated by towers, and its individual buildings.

The Historic Centre represents a supreme manifestation of Medieval urbanism (the New Town of Emperor Charles IV built as the New Jerusalem). The Prague architectural works of the Gothic Period (14th and 15th centuries), of the High Baroque of the 1st half of the 18th century and of the rising modernism after the year 1900, influenced the development of Central Europe, perhaps even all European architecture. Prague represents one of the most prominent world centres of creative life in the field of urbanism and architecture across generations, human mentality and beliefs.


Prague belongs to the group of historic cities which have preserved the structure of their development until the present times. Within the core of Prague, successive stages of growth and changes have respected the original grandscale urban structure of the Early Middle Ages. This structure was essentially and greatly enlarged with urban activities in the High Gothic period with more additions during the High Baroque period and in the 19th century. It has been saved from any large-scale urban renewal or massive demolitions and thus preserves its overall configuration, pattern and spatial composition.

In the course of the 1100 years of its existence, Prague’s development can be documented in the architectural expression of many historical periods and their styles. The city is rich in outstanding monuments from all periods of its history. Of particular importance are Prague Castle, the Cathedral of St Vitus, Hradćany Square in front of the Castle, the Valdgtejn Palace on the left bank of the river, the Gothic Charles Bridge, the Romanesque Rotunda of the Holy Rood, the Gothic arcaded houses round the Old Town Square, the High Gothic Minorite Church of St James in the Stark Mĕsto, the late 19th century buildings and town plan of the Nave Mĕsto.

As early as the Middle Ages, Prague became one of the leading cultural centres of Christian Europe. The Prague University, founded in 1348, is one of the earliest in Europe. The milieu of the University in the last quarter of the 14th century and the first years of the 15th century contributed among other things to the formation of ideas of the Hussite Movement which represented in fact the first steps of the European Reformation. As a metropolis of culture, Prague is connected with prominent names in art, science and politics, such as Charles IV, Petr Parléř, Jan Hus, Johannes Kepler, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Kafka, Antonín Dvořák, Albert Einstein, Edvard Beneš (co-founder of the League of Nations) and Václav Havel.


Historic Centre of TelÄ?

The houses in Telc, which stands on a hilltop, were originally built of wood. After a fire in the late 14th century, the town was rebuilt in stone, surrounded by walls and further strengthened by a network of artificial ponds. The town's Gothic castle was reconstructed in High Gothic style in the late 15th century.

The town of Telt, located near the south-western border between Moravia and Bohemia, is in a region that was thickly forested until the 13th century. The origins of the settlement are unclear: there was anearly medieval settlement at Star/e M&to to the SE of the present town, but there is no mention of Tel8 in documentary records before 1333-5,when reference is made to the existence there of an important castle (and presumably also a church and settlement). The town itself was probably founded in the mid 14th century.

It developed on a hilltop, round a market square in the form of an elongated triangle. The town was surrounded by stone walls, further strengthened by a most of the houses were wooden, but they were reconstructed network of ponds. Until a fire in 1386 in stone. The parish church of St Jacob, built in 1360-72, also had to be rebuilt. The Gothic castle was reconstructed in High Gothic style in the later 15th century. The second half of the 16th century was a period of great prosperity under Zacharias of Hradec, who began work on the Renaissance castle. He also rebuilt the market place in the same style following another devastating fire. The resulting town is an outstanding example of Renaissance town planning and architecture.


Baroque elements were introduced by the Jesuits, who built a college (1651-65) and the Church of the Name of Jesus (1666-67). At the same time Baroque gables were added to the facades of some of the houses In the market place; Rococo and classical elements also followed in later remodel lings.

The town covers 9 ha and contains 85 designated historical monuments. Its centre is the Renaissance chateau, which retains substantial evidence of its Gothic precursor. The Golden Hall to the north of the castle complex is notable for its fine gilded ceiling of 1561. which shows considerable Italian influence. The latest phase of reconstruction was under the charge of Baldassar The Industrial Revolution of the early 19th Maggi of Arogno, and dates to the late 16th century saw considerable cultural awakening in century. the region and increased prosperity. Nevertheless, the town of Tel: retained its traditional character.

The houses in the market place, although embellished with facades from various periods, are basically Renaissance and conform to a standard plan. The parish Church of St Jacob has a twin-a&led layout dating from the early 14th century: a Renaissance choir was added in 1638 and the Gothic tower was crowned with a Baroque dome in 1687.


HolaĹĄovice Historical Village Reservation

HolaĹĄovice is an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a traditional central European village. It has a large number of outstanding 18th- and 19th-century vernacular buildings in a style known as 'South Bohemian folk Baroque', and preserves a ground plan dating from the Middle Ages.

Holasovice is of special significance in that it represents the fusion of two vernacular building traditions to create an exceptional and enduring style, known as South Bohemian Folk Baroque. Criterion iv: The exceptional completeness and excellent preservation of Holasovice and its buildings make it an outstanding example of traditional rural settlement in central Europe.

Archaeological investigation has shown that this area was settled by humankind as early as the 2nd millennium BC, in the Neolithic period. It was settled by Slavonic peoples in the 9th and 10th centuries AD. It came under Premyslid rule at the end of the 10th century, but Holasovice was not founded until the period of largescale colonization of the border regions of Bohemia in the first half of the 13th century. The first written record is in a 1292 document of Wenceslas II, who gave the village, along with several others, to the Cistercian monastery at VyssĂ­ Brod, which retained possession until 1848.


Until the beginning of the 16th century the area was settled by Czechs, but the plague that ravaged Bohemia in 1521 left only two inhabitants alive. The Cistercians brought in settlers from other possessions of the Order in Bavaria and Austria: all the family names listed in a monastic record of 1524-30 were German. There followed a period of prosperity that came to an end with the Thirty Years' War (1618-48), but the village quickly recovered.

The numbers of farmsteads remained steady at seventeen from the early 16th century onwards, and the village did not begin to grow until the 20th century. The ethnic makeup remained predominantly German up to the creation of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918: in 1895 there were 157 inhabitants of German origin and only 19 of Czech origin. By the time the ethnic Germans were expelled at the end of World War II Czechs remained in a minority.

The Definitive Cadaster of 1827 reveals that all the farmsteads (with the exception of the barns) in "Holschowitz" were built of masonry, not timber-framed, as was the case in most of the villages of Bohemia at that time. This tradition of masonry building for domestic structures is a characteristic of South Bohemia, no doubt brought in from Austria and Germany. Between 1840 and 1880 there was considerable rebuilding in the villages of North Bohemia. This process was later in South Bohemia, and the style adopted, known as "Folk Baroque," is characteristic of this region.


Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc

This memorial column, erected in the early years of the 18th century, is the most outstanding example of a type of monument specific to central Europe. In the characteristic regional style known as Olomouc Baroque and rising to a height of 35 m, it is decorated with many fine religious sculptures, the work of the distinguished Moravian artist Ondrej Zahner.

Criterion i The Olomouc Holy Trinity Column is one of the most exceptional examples of the apogee of central European Baroque artistic expression. Criterion iv The Holy Trinity Column constituted a unique material demonstration of religious faith in central Europe during the Baroque period, and the Olomouc example represents its most outstanding expression.

Following the Swedish occupation of this largely medieval city at the end of the Thirty Years' War (1648-50), four fifths of Olomouc lay in ruins and more than 90% of its inhabitants had fled. Although it lost its status as the capital of Moravia, it remained an episcopal see and this fact, coupled with the indomitable selfconfidence of its citizens, ensured its regeneration.


In the post-war reconstruction the street pattern of the medieval town was respected. However, it took on a new appearance: over the following century many impressive public and private buildings were constructed in a local variant of the prevailing style, which became known as "Olomouc Baroque." The most characteristic expression of this style was a group of monuments (columns and fountains), of which the Holy Trinity Column is the crowning glory.

"... I shall raise a column so high and splendid it shall not have an equal in any other town": these were the words used by VĂĄclav Render, Olomouc master stonemason, to describe his project for building a religious column, which was submitted to the City Council on 29 October 1715. The project was approved on 13 January 1716 and work started in the spring of 1717, Render financing and carrying out most of it himself. In 1733, the year of Render's death, the column had reached the height of a single-storey building, with a chapel inside and a central core clad in stone, together with intricate stone-masonry detailing. In this first stage, in the 1720s, the first part of the sculptural decoration was carried out by the Olomouc sculptor Filip Sattler.

In his will Render bequeathed almost all his considerable fortune to the city for the completion of the work. The remaining sculptural work was carried out in 1745-52 by the distinguished Moravian sculptor Ondrej Zahner (1709-52). In the early 1750s, the topmost group and the group representing the Assumption of the Virgin Mary were cast in copper and gilded by the Olomouc goldsmith Ĺ imon Forstner (1714-73). The Column was ceremonially consecrated on 9 September 1754, in the presence of the Empress Maria Theresa.


Jewish Quarter and St Procopius' Basilica in Třebíč

The ensemble of the Jewish Quarter, the old Jewish cemetery and the Basilica of St Procopius in Trebíc are reminders of the coexistence of Jewish and Christian cultures from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The Jewish Quarter bears outstanding testimony to the different aspects of the life of this community. St Procopius Basilica, built as part of the Benedictine monastery in the early 13th century, is a remarkable example of the influence of Western European architectural heritage in this region.

The Jewish Quarter and St Procopius Basilica of Trebic bear witness to the coexistence of and interchange of values between two different cultures, Jewish and Christian, over many centuries. Criterion iii: the Jewish Quarter of Trebic is an exceptional testimony to the cultural traditions related to the Jewish diaspora in central Europe.

A Benedictine Monastery was founded in a strategic position at the crossing of Jihlava River, in 1101. Its existence stimulated the establishment of a market, which brought traders and amongst them also Jews. This was the beginning of a structural development of the monastery together with the settlement, called ‘Podklasteri' (lit. beneath the monastery) in its immediate vicinity, and the town of Trebic itself on the other side of the river.


The Jewish Quarter was sited in the focal point of the commercially expanding settlement, close to the monastery and the ford across the river. Not having any defences, it went through the same fate as the rest of the town, and had to suffer of many attacks and destructions, such as those in the 15th century by the Hungarian king. In favourable years, the site developed and prospered allowing the necessary facilities to be built. In the 16th century, orders were issued to expel the Jews but these were not carried out. As a whole the authorities were here much more tolerant than elsewhere in Europe. In earlier years, the Jews were involved in money lending, but also working in some crafts: tanning, bead firing, glove making, and soap making. From the 17th century on, they were mainly involved in trade and such crafts.

From the beginning, the Jewish Quarter had its own self-government with an elected magistrate and two councillors. In 1849, it had its own administration led by a mayor, and it was called Zamosti (lit. over the bridge). In the 1920s, the area was merged with the town of Trebic, and the population started being mixed. In 1890, there were nearly 1,500 Jews in this area, but in the 1930s only 300 were of Jewish faith. All Jewish residents were deported during the Second World War, and none are left at present. The houses are now owned by people of nonJewish faith.

The Benedictine monastery , established in the early 12th century was richly endowed, and an important centre of ecclesiastical life and economic development. The first monastic church was rebuilt during the reign of King Wenceslas I (1230-53), being ready in the 1250s. After some damage in 1468, the church was repaired at the end of the century. During the first half of the 16th century, the monastery was rebuilt as a castle, and fully renovated in baroque style in 1666-84. There were various minor changes also in the basilica, which was then restored by a wellknown Czech architect, Frantisek Maxmilian Kanka. The works began in 1726, and restoration of the nave was concluded in 1733. Externally several windows were widened and buttresses added, the south-west tower was rebuilt, and a new west front with two towers was constructed in the style of gothicising baroque.


Kutná Hora: Historical Town Centre with the Church of St Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec

Kutná Hora developed as a result of the exploitation of the silver mines. In the 14th century it became a royal city endowed with monuments that symbolized its prosperity. The Church of St Barbara, a jewel of the late Gothic period, and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec, which was restored in line with the Baroque taste of the early 18th century, were to influence the architecture of central Europe. These masterpieces today form part of a wellpreserved medieval urban fabric with some particularly fine private dwellings.

There has been human settlement in the Kutná Hora region from early times. There was a mint there in the 10th century AD, associated with the rich deposits of silver ore. It was the latter that determined the earliest occupation in what is now the historic centre of the town, which seems to have been occupied by numerous scattered mining settlements in the 13th-16th centuries. The complex street plan of Kutná Hora is attributable to this early exploitation of the mineral resources, although it preserves what is almost certainly an anCient, nonurban road junction at its core, one road leading to Malin and the other to Časlav.

This pattern of settlement appears to date from the 12th century. The mid-13th century saw major Changes in the occupation of the land. The royal fortified towns of Časlav and Kolín were founded in the early 1260s, both closely associated with the silver mining in the area, which quickly developed during the reign of Wenceslas II (1285-1305) into a major industrial region. The extent and intensity of this exploitation of the mineral resources of Kutná Hora is reported in documents of the period from as far away as the Rhineland.


The Hussite wars of 1419-34 saw profound changes at Kutná Hora. Sedlec Monastery was destroyed by fire in 1421, to remain in a ruined state until the late 17th century, and there were serious fires in the town itself in 1422 and 1424 which destroyed most of its buildings. However, the wealth resulting from silver mining ensured that it was rapidly rebuilt when peace was restored. Work on the churches was led by two outstanding architects of the period, Matĕj Rejsek and Benedikt Ried. The defences were supplemented by an outer wall, with irregularly spaced artillery bastions, and the Hradek was rebuilt in Late Gothic style. The town was also embellished by many splendid merchant houses and with the system of arcades that is such a feature of Kutná Hora.

The relative lack Of Renaissance buildings in the town graphically illustrates the sudden decline in its fortunes in the early 1540S, when the silver mines became exhausted. The economic stagnation of Kutná Hora was exacerbated by the after-effects Of the Thirty Years' war (1618-48): although the town was not itself directly affected by the war, it fell into a deeper decline and over two hundred of its 574 houses were deserted or demolished. The establishment of a Jesuit College in the 17th century did little more than endow the town with a striking new arChitectural feature, similar to the High Baroque renovation of Sedlec cathedral in the early 18th century by Jan Blažej santini and the work of Killian Ignaz Dientzenhofer at the Ursuline convent and the Chapel of the Holy Trinity.

The dissolution of Sedlec Monastery in 1785 was followed by the deconsecration and demolition of many of the town's smaller churches, and others disappeared in the first half of the 19th century. It was not until 1850, when Kutná Hora became an administrative centre of some importance, that the town began to revive and to begin to concern itself about its architectural heritage.


Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape

Between the 17th and 20th centuries, the ruling dukes of Liechtenstein transformed their domains in southern Moravia into a striking landscape. It married Baroque architecture (mainly the work of Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach) and the classical and neo-Gothic style of the castles of Lednice and Valtice with countryside fashioned according to English romantic principles of landscape architecture. At 200 km2 , it is one of the largest artificial landscapes in Europe.

The Committee decided to inscribe the nominated property on the basis of cultural criteria (i),(ii) and (iv) considering that the site is of outstanding universal value being a cultural landscape which is an exceptional example of the designed landscape that evolved in the Enlightenment and afterwards under the care of a single family. It succeeds in bringing together in harmony cultural monuments from successive periods and both indigenous and exotic natural elements to create an outstanding work of human creativity. The Committee decided to include criterion (i) to the proposed criteria since the ensemble is an outstanding example of human creativity.

This area has been inhabited since the Paleolithic period, and has played an important role in subsequent historical events up to and beyond the Middle Ages. During the Neolithic and Bronze Ages it lay on the important Amber Route from the Baltic to the Mediterranean. It was on the frontier (limes) of the Roman Empire, and so there are Several forts in the vicinity. In the 8th century the first Slavonic state, the Great Moravian Empire, was founded in this region, which later became part of the Bohemian state.


The Lichtenstein family came first to Lednice in the mid-13th century, and by the end of the 14th century they had also acquired nearby Valtice. These were to become the nucleus of the family's extensive possessions, when Karel I of Lichtenstein was given the title of Duke in the early 17th century he made Valtice his main residence and Leunice his summer Seat. The two estates were later joined with the neighbouring Břeclav estate to form an organic whole, to serve the recreational requirements of the ducal family and as material evidence of its prestige.

The realization of this grandiose design began in the 17th century with the creation of avenues Connecting Valtice with other Parts of the estate. It continued throughout the 18th century with the evolution of a framework of avenues and paths providing vistas and rides, imposing order on nature in the manner of the Renaissance artists and architects. The early years of the 19th Century saw the application by Duke Jan Josef I of the English concept of the designed park, strongly influenced by the work of Lancelot "Capability" Brown at Stowe and elsewhere in England

Enormous landscaping projects were undertaken under the supervision of his estate manager, Bernhard Petri; these included raising the level of the Lednice park and the digging of a new channel for the Dvje river. A number of romantic elements were introduced into the landscape, the work of the architects joseph Hardtmuth, Josef Kornhausel, and Franz Engel. Smaller parks on the English model, the so-called Englische Anlagen, were also created around the Mlýnský, Prostřední, and Hlohovecky ponds.

Litomyšl Castle 19

Litomyšl Castle was originally a Renaissance arcade-castle of the type first developed in Italy and then adopted and greatly developed in central Europe in the 16th century. Its design and decoration are particularly fine, including the later High-Baroque features added in the 18th century. It preserves intact the range of ancillary buildings associated with an aristocratic residence of this type.

Litomyšl Castle is an outstanding and immaculately preserved example of the arcade castle, a type of building first developed in Italy and modified in the Czech lands to create an evolved form of special architectural quality. Litomyšl Castle illustrates in an exceptional way the aristocratic residences of central Europe in the Renaissance and their subsequent development under the influence of new artistic movements.

There has been a settlement since at least the 10th century at Litomyšl, which is located at an important communications junction on the main road between Bohemia and Moravia, with its fortified core on the hill where the castle now stands. There is known to have been a small church dedicated to St Clement on this site, and a Premonstratensian monastery was founded in the town in the first half of the 12th century. The monastery was closed when the bishopric was created in 1344, its buildings being shared out between the bishop and the chapter. The document of 1398 relating to this partition contains the first reference to an "old palace".


In 1425 the town was conquered after a siege by the Hussites, who razed all the ecclesiastical buildings to the ground. Restoration was undertaken at the end of the Hussite Wars by the new owners of Litomyšl, the Kostka family of Postupice, and details of this building have also been shown by recent investigations. It was damaged by fire in 1460 and again in 1546; after the second fire, the castle was confiscated by the king, but it was almost completely gutted after a third fire, in 1560.

A fire in 1635 caused only slight damage to the upper storey of the castle and this was quickly repaired. The architect František Maximilián Kaňka was responsible for considerable modifications from 1719 onwards in the High Baroque style. Fire struck yet again in 1775, and the repairs involved some remodelling. Major alterations took place in the interior in 1792-96, to the designs of Jan Kryštof Habich, but he was careful to preserve the fine Renaissance gables. Since that time there have been no changes of any consequence in the structure, design, or decoration of the castle.

The first courtyard formed part of the original fortified settlement. The buildings associated with it were all built or rebuilt during the course of the modifications that the castle underwent over time, and this is reflected in their architectural styles.


Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora

This pilgrimage church, built in honour of St John of Nepomuk, stands at Zelená Hora, not far from Ždár nad Sázavou in Moravia. Constructed at the beginning of the 18th century on a star-shaped plan, it is the most unusual work by the great architect Jan Blazej Santini, whose highly original style falls between neo-Gothic and Baroque.

The Vicar General of the Prague Archbishopric, Jan (John) of Pomuk, died a martyr's death in 1393. In 1719 his physical remains were studied by a commission appointed by the Archbishop of Prague of the day when it was found that his tongue was perfectly preserved, which was interpreted as evidence of his sanctity. This initiated a wave of enthusiasm for the cult of the martyr, and in particular at the Cistercian monastery in Zdár nad Sázavou, near the Bohemian border with Moravia.

This monastery had inherited the role of the monastery at Zelená hora, near Nepomuk, where St John Nepomuk received his early education, which had been destroyed in the Hussite wars. It was monks from Zelená hora who founded the Zdár nad Sázavou house, whose abbot from 1705 until 1738 was Vaclav Vejmluva, a dedicated follower of St John Nepomuk. He conceived his project to build a church to the glory of the saint which would at the same time demonstratet he relationship betweent he two Cistercian houses.


The church was intended from the start as a place of pilgrimage. Work began in 1719, three years before the formal canonization of John of Nepomuk confirmed the unofficial status that he had been given in his native Bohemia for centuries. The architect was Jan Bla탑ej Santini, who had been working for Vejmluva since 1706 on various projects at the monastery. The abbot worked closely with the architect in the design of the church by laying down its ideological framework, based on the symbolism of the saint's tongue and the numerological significance of the numbers 3 and 5 (the saint died at the age of 53).

The unfinished church was consecrated on 16 May 1720, the date of St John Nepomuk's martyrdom. The construction of the main structure was completed by 1721 and its preliminary furnishing and decoration was celebrated by a second consecration the following year, although work on the cloisters and other ancillary elements was not completed until 1727. Major items of its interior furnishings, such as the main and side altars, the pulpit, and the many statues, were added in later years.

The church was a major centre of pilgrimage from its foundation until 1784, when the monastery was abolished. It continued as a place of worship, and in the 19th century the cloister was used as a cemetery; the tombstones of this period survive in situ.


Tugendhat Villa in Brno

The Tugendhat Villa in Brno, designed by the architect Mies van der Rohe, is an outstanding example of the international style in the modern movement in architecture as it developed in Europe in the 1920s. Its particular value lies in the application of innovative spatial and aesthetic concepts that aim to satisfy new lifestyle needs by taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by modern industrial production.

The Tugendhat Villa is a masterpiece of the Modern Movement in architecture. Criterion ii The German architect Mies van der Rohe applied the radical new concepts of the Modern Movement triumphantly to the Tugendhat Villa to the design of residential buildings. Architecture was revolutionized by the Modern Movement in the 1920s and the work of Mies van der Rohe, epitomized by the Tugendhat Villa, played a major role in its worldwide diffusion and acceptance.

The Tugendhat Villa was designed by the German architect, Mies van der Rohe (18861969), for Grete Weiss and her husband Fritz Tugendhat, members of wealthy industrial families in the city of Brno in former Czechoslovakia. The architect accepted the commission in 1927, and the design process lasted about two years, parallel with designing the German Pavilion (1928-29) at the International Fair in Barcelona, commissioned by the German Government. The construction of the Tugendhat Villa was completed by the end of 1930. The architect took charge of the project down to the smallest detail, also designing all the furniture of the house, designs that have become worldrenowned. 24

Mies van der Rohe was one of the principal architects in the development of the Modern Movement in Architecture, which characterized design and construction in the 1920s and 1930s in Europe and North America. Originally from Aachen and then working in Berlin, he was influenced by the work and teachings of Behrens and Berlage, by the principles of the De Stijl movement, as well as by Frank Lloyd Wright. His early interests were in developing design concepts for high-rise buildings in reinforced concrete and glass in the early 1920s: he designed the Weissenhof apartments in Stuttgart in 1927, another key work in the Modern Movement. From 1926 Mies van der Rohe was a member of the Deutscher Werkbund, and from 1930 to 1933 he was Director of the Bauhaus in Dessau.

During the German occupation, the Tugendhat family left Czechoslovakia and the Villa was taken over by the German State in 1939. It lost most of its original furniture, and was subject to some alterations and damage - eg that caused by a bomb explosion in the neighbourhood in 1944. After the war, the building was taken over by the State of Czechoslovakia; it served a nearby children's hospital and then the national health institute of Brno, becoming the property of the City of Brno.

In 1962 the Villa was protected as a national monument. There was increasing interest in restoring it, and the first study to this effect was made in 1971, leading to a restoration campaign in 1981-85, which guaranteed the continuation of the use of the building on a provisional basis. The Tugendhat Villa Fund was established in 1993, followed by the decision of the Friends of the Tugendhat Fund to undertake a scientific restoration of the building. This work took place beginning in 1994 and funds were raised to furnish the building with replicas of the original designs by Mies van der Rohe.






a short monography