24 August 2013

#296 Moravská Nová Ves, Czech Republic

Český Krumlov is an outstanding example of a central European small town dating from the Middle Ages that owes the structure and buildings of its historic core to its economic importance and relatively undisturbed organic development over some five centuries. The town grew up within a meander of the Vltava river, which provides a natural setting of great beauty. Its evolution over time is evident with startling clarity from its buildings and its urban infrastructure. It has profited from a relatively peaceful history in that it has retained its entire medieval layout and most of its historic buildings relatively intact. Restoration and conservation has been slight and so there can be no question as to the authenticity of both the townscape and its components.

The site 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.

Date of Inscription on the List of UNESCO WHS: 1992

Prague is an urban architectural ensemble of outstanding quality, in terms of both its individual monuments and its townscape, and one that is deservedly world famous. The historic centre of Prague admirably illustrates the process of continuous urban growth from the Middle Ages to the present day. Its important role in the political, economic, social and cultural evolution of central Europe from the 14th century onwards and the richness of its architectural and artistic traditions meant that it served as a major model for urban development for much of central and eastern Europe.

The role of Prague in the medieval development of Christianity in central Europe was an outstanding one, as was its formative influence in the evolution of towns. By virtue of its political significance in the later Middle Ages and later, it attracted architects and artists from all over Europe, who contributed to its wealth of architectural and artistic treasures. The 15th-century creation of Charles University made it a renowned seat of learning, a reputation that it has preserved to the present day. Since the reign of Charles IV, Prague has also been the intellectual and cultural centre of its region, and is indelibly associated with such world-famous names as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Kafka.

The historic city of Prague comprises three separate cities - the Old Town (Stare Město), the Lesser Town (Malá Strana) and the New Town (Nove Město). In the late 9th century a fortified settlement was built on a hill on the left bank of the river, the site now occupied by Prague Castle. This extended down towards the river; while a second fortress was constructed on the opposite bank (Vyšehrad). During the 10th century the intervening areas were gradually settled and Prague became the capital of the Bohemian state, a bishopric being founded there in 973. Construction of the early Romanesque Cathedral of St Vitus began in the later 11th century.

Date of Inscription on the List of UNESCO WHS: 1992
Minor modification inscribed year: 2012

The later Middle Ages in central Europe saw the 'plantation' of planned settlements in areas of virgin forest for reasons of political control and economic expansion, and Telč is the best-preserved surviving example. It preserves its original layout and the castle-settlement relationship very clearly.

Telč is also an architectural and artistic ensemble of outstanding quality. The quality of the architecture is high, particularly the Renaissance market place and chateau. Its triangular market place possesses great beauty and harmony as well as great cultural importance, surrounded as it is by intact and well-preserved Renaissance buildings with a dazzling variety of facades.

The town is located near the south-western border between Moravia and Bohemia, in a region that was thickly forested until the 13th century. The origins of the settlement are unclear: there was an early medieval settlement at Stare Město to the south-east of the present town, but there is no mention of Telč in documentary records before 1333-35, 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 network of ponds. Until a fire in 1386 most of the houses were wooden, but they were reconstructed in stone. The parish church of St Jacob, built 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 marketplace; Rococo and classical elements also followed in later remodelling. The Industrial Revolution of the early 19th century saw considerable cultural awakening in the region and increased prosperity. Nevertheless, the town of Telč retained its traditional character.

Date of Inscription on the List of UNESCO WHS: 1992

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 castle suffered grievously in the Thirty Years' War when the town was sacked by the Swedish army in 1643, a disaster that was followed by an outbreak of plague two years later. When Count Karel Liechtenstein-Castelcorn became Bishop of Olomouc in 1664, the town's fortunes began to change. He undertook many building projects and brought in the talented imperial civil engineer and architect Filiberto Lucchese, who designed an entirely new pleasure garden (Lustgarten ) for him after having brought the ruined castle back into a habitable state. When Lucchese died in 1666, his work was taken over by Giovanni Pietro Tencalla; the work on the garden was not completed until 1675. Once it was finished Tencalla's attention turned to the design and construction of a magnificent Episcopal castle and residence.

Date of Inscription on the List of UNESCO WHS: 1998 

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.

Date of Inscription on the List of UNESCO WHS: 1999

Date of Issue: April 14, 2010 - Transcaucasian Carpets Celaberd
Thank you, Alena !

Received on: August 24, 2013

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