A subtle play of light and shadow, complicated ground plans full of symbolism, mansard roofs and onion domes – the Czech baroque continues to dazzle the world!
The baroque influenced Czech architecture, visual art, literature, theatre and music and gave rise to churches, massive monasteries, palaces and chateaux that changed the fact of Czech towns and villages. Prague, too, was given a Baroque makeover – and who doesn’t know the Prague baroque?
Dientzenhofer and Santini
Remember these two names, because without them, the Czech Baroque wouldn’t enjoy the excellent reputation that it does. Amongst the works by Christoph Dientzenhofer and his son, Kilian Ignaz, are, for example, the Church of St. Nicholas in the Lesser Quarter in Prague, called the most beautiful Baroque church in Prague and one of the most valuable Baroque structures in Europe. The Loreta pilgrimage site in Prague, with its world-famous carillon, Plasy Monastery, the Benedictine monastery in Broumov and Ploskovice Chateau also bear their imprint.
One peculiarity of the Czech lands, not found anywhere else, is Baroque Gothic, combining both styles into a harmonic whole. The master of this style was the architect Jan Blažej Santini, many of whose buildings have been entered on the UNESCO list, for example the Church of St. John of Nepomuk on Zelená hora or the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady in Kutná Hora-Sedlec and the nearby All Saints’ Chapel, beneath which can be found the picturesque ossuary.
Theatre, statues and so on
The art of the baroque also influenced other areas. Visitors can admire, for example, the marvellous Baroque theatre at the chateau in Český Krumlov. Ostentatious Baroque terraces and balustrades can be viewed at Vrtba Garden and other gardens in the Lesser Quarter in Prague. For a true, open-air gallery of the Baroque, see the thirty Baroque statues on Charles Bridge, the allegorical statues of Virtue and Vice in Kuks and another UNESCO site, the Column of the Holy Trinity in Olomouc. The interiors of the chateaux in Slavkov u Brna (historically Austerlitz), Vranov nad Dyjí and Kroměříž.