SUMMER HOUSE OF QUEEN ANNE AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
(LETOHRÁDEK KRÁLOVNY ANNY)
1. Renaissance in Prague: a short introduction.
2. Queen Anne and Ferdinand I.
3. The complex of the queen’s residence (residence, garden, tennis court, fountain): architect, history, description of its main characteristics.
1. - Renaissance in Prague: a shortintroduction.
The remnants of the Renaissance style in Prague, as in Central Europe, are not so extended and widespread as in other cultural centres of that moment. If Italy was the centre of the returning to the classic forms in an artistic and material way, the Nordic Renaissance was related to the intellectual and technical achievements, in order to the greetings of the scientific, mathematic andproportional classical point of view, that the Middle Ages let behind it with the idea of God and the theological studies. In that sense, there was a religious upheaval that led to the Protestant Reformation, a challenge to the clergy authority and its power over the human life and death.
With that thoughts, Renaissance art started to appear shaped like printmaking, sculpture with new materials,easel painting, etc.; everything in relation in a higher extent with secular subjects. Obviously, one of the most important legacies of every style is its architecture. In Bohemia that legacy was not as large as in other northern regions under Jagellonian rule because of its conservatism, that gave to the Gothic style longer endure, until the end of 15th century, when the shift started in thearchitectural works of Benedict Ried in Prague.
Because it wasn’t a style socially extended, most of the works started from individually commissions, in this case royal ones. This is the instance of the Letohrádek of Summerhouse of Queen Anne, that we are studying in this essay. But other large houses of castles have the traces of the Renaissance, like Opočno, Bučovice or the Schwarzenberg palace.2. Queen Anne and Ferdinand I.
Queen Anne (1503-1547), or Anna of Bohemia and Hungary, sometimes called Anna Jagellonica, married Ferdinand I (1503-1564), Holy Roman Emperor.
Queen Anne was born in Buda, and the death of her father left her and her brother in the care of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. He arranged her marriage with his grandson the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, thatheld on the 25th of May 1521. When Anne’s brother died, the thrones of Bohemia and Hungary vacant and Ferdinand claimed both of them, making Anna Queen of Bohemia with him, but in Hungary the conflict lasted until 1571. In 1531 Ferdinand I was recognized as the King of the Romans.
Anna and Ferdinand had 15 children, all but two of whom reached adulthood and married different personalities. Some ofthem are Maximilian II, who married Maria of Spain, and was Holy Roman Emperor; or Charles II, Archduke of Austria, who was the father of Ferdinand II (Holy Roman Emperor). Because the importance of the offspring in royal families, he decided to build in Prague a summerhouse for his wife, with references to the fertility, were she could rest when she was pregnant and have their children safe.5. The complex of the queen’s residence (residence, garden, tennis court, fountain): architect, history, description of its main characteristics.
King Ferdinand I ordered the construction of a royal garden outside the fortifications of Prague Castle and, as we said before, in 1538 it ordered the built of a summer palace for his wife Anne Jagiellon. Unfortunately, the queen did not live toenjoy the palace because he died in 1547 while giving birth to her fifteenth child. Because Ferdinand I left Prague after the fire of 1541, he wasn’t able to see the complete work either.
The Summer Palace of Queen Anne (incorrectly called the Belvedere) is one of the purest examples of Italian Renaissance architecture outside of Italy. It was built according to the design and model of the...
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