The Spanish and German Halls at Prague Castle in the 19th Century

The Spanish and German Halls at Prague Castle in the 19th Century
ISBN: 978-80-87989-84-5
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Jindřich Vybíral

The Spanish and German Halls at Prague Castle in the 19th Century

The publication focuses on the rebuilding of the representative premises located in the northern wing of the Prague Castle on the occasion of the planned coronation of Franz Joseph I of Austria. Following from an extensive archive research, the book describes the course of the construction works, identifies the authors of the planning documentation and determines which premises were built in the 19th century and which parts date back to earlier periods. The publication analyses the stylistic physiognomy of the two representative halls; explores their function as a symbol of the dynastic tradition and legitimacy, and reveals the historical and social context of the refurbishment, where both halls are perceived as political and ceremonial premises. From this viewpoint, the authors explore the connection between the interior architecture and the ceremonial etiquette of the Habsburg court.


Introduction - A Blind Spot in the History of Architecture in Bohemia

I. Prague Castle and the Ceremonial Halls before 1860
Genesis and Function of the Spanish and German Halls
Prague Castle in the "Pre-March" Era
The Seat of Two Emperors
"Place of Memory", Space for Both Politics and Court Festivities

II. Reconstruction and its Implementers
The Spanish Hall and the Royal Coronation
Halls on the Threshold of Reconstruction
Bureaucratic Apparatus in Opposition to the Beginning of the Construction Work
Enemy at the Castle and the Continuing Course of the Restoration Work
Work in the German Hall and the Completion of Adaptations
Architects - Men in the Background
Craftsmen - Key Figures from the Archival Material

III. Form, Meaning, Context
Restoration Work
Decoration in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
The Physiology of Decoration
The Dilemma of Style
Painterly Principle
Program of the Decoration

IV. Architecture, Politics, Ceremonies
Space of the Ceremonial
Architecture and Ceremonial Representation
Dance and Space

Conclusion and Epilogue

National Heritage Institute, UMPRUM, Prague 2019, 200 pages, 265 x 300 mm, Czech and English, ISBN 978-80-87989-84-5