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Carola Hicks

English country house near Woodstock, Oxon, designed by John Vanbrugh for John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. It was begun in 1705 and completed c. 1725. The gardens, initially laid out by Vanbrugh and Henry Wise, were largely redesigned in 1764–74 by ‘Capability’ Brown. Blenheim Palace is regarded as one of the finest examples of English Baroque architecture. It was a gift to the Duke from a grateful Crown and nation to commemorate his victory in 1704 over the French and Bavarians at Blenheim (now Blindheim) during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14). The intention was to create a public monument symbolizing the glory of Britain and a palace fit for a hero, rather than a building on a domestic scale. This is reflected in Vanbrugh’s dramatic and monumental design, inspired by both English and French architecture, which developed the style he had begun to formulate in his earlier work at Castle Howard, N. Yorks. In both undertakings he was assisted by ...


Maria Angela Mattevi

[Buon Consiglio; Trent; Trento]

Vast monumental complex built between the north and east gates of the ancient city walls (c. 1200–20) of Trent, the capital of Trentino in Italy. It has three main nuclei: the Castelvecchio, the Magno Palazzo and the Giunta Albertiana. The oldest part, Castelvecchio, was built (1239–55) around the strong donjon, the Torre d’Augusto, by the Imperial Podestà of Trent, Sodegerio da Tito (d 1255), who took up office in 1238. Its function was predominantly military. In 1277 it passed to the Church and became the residence of the prince–bishop of Trent. In subsequent centuries a series of modifications and extensions have brought the castle to its present form. Of fundamental importance were the works completed in 1475 by Giovanni Hinderbach (d 1486) with the aid of Venetian craftsmen, who built the Renaissance Gothic internal court with tiered open galleries and the small loggia on the third floor. At that time the walls of the upper loggia were frescoed with portraits of the bishops of Trent from the city’s origin to the year ...


Charles Saumarez Smith

English country house in N. Yorks built (1701–24) by John Vanbrugh for Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Carlisle; the gardens were laid out by George London during the same period. One of the largest, grandest and, architecturally, most important country houses in England, Castle Howard was first planned in October 1698, when the 3rd Earl took out a lease for life on the ruinous Henderskelfe Castle (burnt 1693; destr. 1724) and its manor from his grandmother, Anne Howard, Countess of Carlisle. The following spring he consulted the architect William Talman, Comptroller of Works to William III, on the design for a house to replace the old castle of Henderskelfe, but during the summer Talman was supplanted by the playwright John Vanbrugh. Castle Howard was Vanbrugh’s first important architectural commission. A model in wood was shown to the King in the summer of 1700, and work on the hill-top site began in the spring of ...


Simon Thurley

English palace situated on the north bank of the River Thames, c. 23 km upstream from central London. In the building that survives, two main periods of work can be seen: the remains of the Tudor royal palace, begun by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey between 1514 and 1529 and completed by Henry VIII between 1529 and 1547; and the Baroque palace built for William and Mary between 1688 and 1702 by Christopher Wren. The palace has also been continually altered and repaired up to the present day. The Tudor part of the building is probably the most important surviving example of early Tudor domestic architecture in England, and the Wren building contains one of the finest collections of early 18th-century decorative arts in situ.

The earliest buildings (destr.) on the site belonged to the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, although little is known about the nature of these buildings. The first important period of expansion began ...


Susanne Kronbichler-Skacha

Castle in Salzburg, Austria. To the south of Salzburg, Archbishop Marcus Sitticus von Hohenems (reg 1612–19) commissioned Santino Solari to build a small castle to be used as a summer palace. Schloss Hellbrunn (1613–19) is a most perfect realization of the Italian villa suburbana and the earliest of its kind north of the Alps. Situated at the end of a long avenue, the building is a cube of classic simplicity, with a bifurcate staircase opening on to a cour d’honneur. The most remarkable interior features are the Festsaal (banqueting hall), set asymmetrically on the west side, and its projecting octagon, with frescoes by Arsenio Mascagni (1579–1636). Hellbrunn’s main attraction, however, is its gardens. The Lustgarten or Pleasure Garden was laid out north of the castle and furnished with an unusual variety of grottoes, fountains, ponds and other features including the Roman Theatre, a miniature exedra dominated by a statue of ...


D. O. Shvidkovsky

Monastery at Teryayevo in Russia, some 110 km north-west of Moscow. It was founded in 1479 by Iosif Volotsky (1439–1515), who successfully resisted the 15th-century movement to secularize monastic properties, and was partially paid for by the Grand Princes of Moscow, who helped to establish it as a centre for icon painting and manuscript illumination and who established its collection of ancient reliquaries. Between 1484 and 1500 Dionisy painted an extensive series of icons for the monastery.

The monastery’s first stone church was built between 1484 and 1486 and was surrounded by brick walls c. 1543–66. The whole complex, which is enclosed on two sides by a lake, was completely rebuilt between the 1670s and 1690s and is a fine example of 17th-century Russian architecture, with its numerous white walls and towers and well-proportioned stone-stepped roofs. A two-storey building pierced by two asymmetrically placed gates, the Holy Gates, serves as the main entrance to the monastery. The five-domed church of the Dormition (...


Josef Strasser

Palace complex at Oberschleissheim, 18 km north of Munich, consisting of three palaces: the Altes Schloss, Lustheim and the Neues Schloss. William V, Duke of Bavaria, had a simple mansion (1598–1600) built here. His son Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, had a large new structure, the Altes Schloss (1616–23; extensively damaged 1944; façade rebuilt 1972–4), erected to plans by Heinrich Schön the elder. A single main storey is articulated by disproportionately broad pilasters above a high half-basement. A steep pitched roof crowns the scheme. An external staircase in symmetrically paired flights leads to a porch, the pediment of which rests on rusticated piers; its pitch differs from that of the gable of the raised central bay behind. The interior decoration was by Peter Candid.

Elector Maximilian II Emanuel had a banqueting house called Lustheim (1684–8) erected to the east, in line with the Altes Schloss. Designed by ...