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Article

J. J. Martín González

Spanish palace that stands beside the rivers Tagus and Jarama in the province of Madrid, 47 km south of the capital. It was intended as a spring and summer residence for the royal family and is renowned for its gardens and fountains. The summer residence built at Aranjuez in 1387 by Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa, Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, became royal property under Ferdinand II, King of Aragon, and Isabella, Queen of Castile and León. In the reign of Charles V improvements were carried out by Luis de Vega (from c. 1537) and the palace was extensively enlarged by Philip II. The chapel was designed by Juan Bautista de Toledo and completed by Jerónimo Gili and Juan de Herrera. It was built in a combination of white stone from Colmenar de Oreja and brick, giving a two-toned effect that was adopted for the rest of the palace. In ...

Article

K. A. Ottenheym

Castle in Breda, north Brabant, Netherlands. It is one of the first examples of monumental Renaissance architecture in the Netherlands, constructed at a time (1530s) when large buildings there were still dominated by the Late Gothic style from Brabant. A fortress had stood on the site since the 13th century. In 1515–21 Count Henry III of Nassau (1483–1538) commissioned a gallery on the curtain wall and a portal, both with ornate pediments (destr.), which was the first known piece of Renaissance architecture in the Netherlands. In 1536 Henry initiated more thoroughgoing alterations, with the intention of replacing the Gothic castle with a modern palace. The design comprised a rectangular layout around a large courtyard overlooked by an arcade. From the courtyard a stately, covered double staircase led to the double-height great hall on the first floor, which occupied the entire west wing. The ground floor below this hall was originally an open hall of columns. This design was finally completed in ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Karin M. E. Alexis

Swedish royal fortification and residence in Mariefred, near Stockholm, begun in 1537 by King Gustav I. It is one of the finest remaining examples of Swedish architecture of the Vasa dynasty (1523–1600) founded by Gustav, and combines sophisticated Renaissance interiors with a form that remains essentially medieval. The site, strategic since Viking times, became more important during the Middle Ages when an estate and castle were erected in 1383 by Chancellor Bo Jonsson. In 1472 the property was purchased by Sten Sture the Elder (1440–1503), who donated it in 1498 to a Carthusian monastery. Gustav I seized the property in 1526, claiming the legal rights of inheritance through his kinship with Sten Sture. The existing medieval stone keep was inadequate for Gustav, who commissioned the architect Henrik Cöllen to design a new castle (begun 1537), a practical fortress-refuge for the king, his family and the royal chancery and treasury. Defensive in nature, the castle has a polygonal plan, with four massive circular towers at the angles. Built of brick, with 3–4 m thick walls surrounded by a moat, it retains a bold, severe appearance with few extraneous details, although a picturesque element is added by the irregular silhouette of towers and roofs . A painted ceiling in Halberdiers’ Hall, attributed to ...

Article

Former royal castle in north Zealand, Denmark. The medieval village of Hillerød can be deduced from the first mention, in 1275, of a manor house, Hillerødsholm, built on an islet in a marshy area surrounded by forests. In 1560 King Frederick II acquired Hillerødsholm and converted it into a royal residence, renaming it Frederiksborg. The plan of the existing castle is still based on Frederick’s hunting-lodge, with the buildings disposed on three islets in an artificial lake (dammed in the 1560s). The servants’ buildings on the first islet have been preserved, with heavy corner towers at the north bearing the King’s motto and the date 1562 in iron ties. Other surviving buildings include the pantry wing (1580s), on the west bank in front of the third islet, and the baths, built by Hans Floris (d 1600) in the park north-west of the lake. The buildings are of red brick, with some stepped gables and details in light sandstone, following Netherlandish building traditions, which are most pronounced in the baths. Records, excavations and two views by ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

English castle in Warwickshire. In 1265 the medieval castle at Kenilworth was granted by Henry III to his second son, Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, and for the next three centuries it was passed back and forth between the crown and various noble families. In 1563 the castle was granted by Queen Elizabeth to her favourite, Dudley family §(2), Earl of Leicester, who decided to convert the castle into a great house fit to receive occasional visits from the Queen. He retained the banqueting hall that had been built in 1392, and redesigned the Norman keep (built 1120), inserting mullioned and transomed windows on the first floor and renovating the accommodation within the building. He also demolished part of the curtain wall to construct the magnificent guest house that has been known since the 17th century as Leicester’s Building.

Dudley also built a gatehouse, beside which a large garden was laid out. The design shows indirect French influence, mediated through the English royal palace gardens. Like the gardens at ...

Article

Jiřina Hořejší

Renaissance palace in Litomyšl, 57 km south-east of Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic. The 16th-century building is one of the best examples of Czech Renaissance architecture. There was a fortified Slav settlement on the site, then a castle (first mentioned in ad 981) and from 1344 a bishop’s residence. In 1567 it was acquired by the Bohemian Chancellor, Vratislav of Pernštejn, who decided to build a luxurious and imposing family residence there. He summoned from Prague the court architect Giovanni Battista Aostalli, who was in charge of the project from 1568 to 1575. The house was completed by Ulrico Aostalli in 1581. Its plan comprises a massive three-storey block in four wings around two internal courtyards, with the chapel of St Michael in the south-east corner. The older medieval buildings were incorporated into the Renaissance complex in parts of the west and north wings. The main exterior façades are not architecturally articulated except for a loggia opened to both sides on the second floor of the south wing. After ...

Article

Martin Biddle

[Nonnesuche; Nonesuch]

English 16th-century royal palace (destr.), built by Henry VIII between 1538 and 1547 on the site of the village of Cuddington, near Ewell (Surrey).

Construction began on 22 April 1538, the anniversary of Henry’s accession. The intention to create a nonpareil was there from the start, for the name first appears in the building accounts in June 1538. Although the main structure was probably complete by 1541, decoration continued until at least 1545. The palace was built around two courtyards, the inner one timber-framed to hold the long sequences of external decorations for which Nonsuch was renowned. The decorative scheme, composed of panels of stucco duro set between the wall timbers and framed by borders of carved, gilded slate covering the timbers, extended over the four interior walls, rising from the first floor, where the royal apartments were, to a height of c. 5.5 m. It continued on the east, south and west walls facing the garden, rising ...

Article

Susanne Kronbichler-Skacha

[Schloss Salamanca]

Palace in Spittal an der Drau, Carinthia, Austria. It was built as the residence of Gabriel of Salamanca (1489/90–1539), the Spanish chancellor and financier of Ferdinand I, King of Bohemia (later Holy Roman Emperor, reg 1558–64). Gabriel was created Graf von Ortenberg in 1524, and the large palace, intended as the seat of the Salamanca family, was probably begun c. 1533. It took his sons and grandsons about 60 years to complete, but the original design was followed owing to a wooden model (untraced) supplied by the architect and mentioned in Gabriel’s will. The architect is unknown, but he must have been one of the Lombards from the area of Lake Como who were responsible for introducing the Italian Renaissance to northern Europe. There are striking parallels between Schloss Porcia and the contemporary Belvedere (begun 1538) at Prague Castle, by Paolo Stella, although the exterior of Schloss Porcia is a less up-to-date version of an Italian Renaissance palace. It was designed as a cube with three main storeys and an attic, and with circular towers at the north-west and south-east corners. The exterior façades are rather plain, the most notable features being two sets of triple-arched and balconied windows on the first and second floors. The courtyard, however, is unexpectedly splendid, with three storeys of arcades running around three sides of the court. These arcades are adorned with sculptural decoration of rich imagination—although not always of outstanding quality—by local craftsmen. Both stone-carving (e.g. in capitals, doorframes, figural medallions and reliefs) and stucco (e.g. arcade vaults and interior ceilings) were employed; the ground-floor arcade spandrels display emperors’ heads in medallions, with ancient gods, heroes and animals appearing above. Doorframes are richly embellished: one on the third floor, for example, is flanked by columns and has jambs decorated with allegorical and other reliefs. In ...

Article

Susanne Kronbichler-Skacha

Austrian castle near Melk Abbey in Lower Austria. Situated among hills in the Danube valley, Schloss Schallaburg combines imposing medieval ruins with a splendid Renaissance palace. The high-medieval sections dating from the 11th and 12th centuries are dominated by a three-storey tower house and surrounded by crenellated walls; remains of the Romanesque crypt are preserved under the present chapel. The Losenstein family inherited the castle in 1431. Most of the original fabric was removed when Hans Wilhelm von Losenstein (1546–1601), Lord of nearby Loosdorf and a member of the old Protestant gentry, decided to make his domain an important centre for the Protestant nobility. Continuing work begun by his father, he had the castle extensively rebuilt and enlarged from 1572 to 1600.

At the heart of the Renaissance structure is the great courtyard, the Terracottahof (1573) by Jakob Bernecker, with magnificent two-storey arcades. The rich terracotta figurative decoration includes herms, caryatids, reliefs, masks and heraldic emblems (many replaced in the 19th century) and presents allegories of the main ethical and spiritual ideals of the period: the ...

Article

Fernando Marías

Spanish castle situated in Almería. It is one of a series of fortresses (together with those of Mula, Murcia and Cuevas de Almanzora in Almería) built at the beginning of the 16th century by Pedro Fajardo y Chacón, first Marqués de los Vélez (1484–1540) and Governor of the kingdom of Murcia. The fortress has an elongated ground-plan and is crowned on the north front by a keep. The most important part of the ensemble is the square courtyard, which was removed from Spain in 1904 and is now in New York (Met.), with the position of the east and west galleries reversed (see Blumenthal patio; see images tab for additonal illustrations).

According to an inscription in the courtyard, the castle was built between 1506 and 1515 after Fajardo received the lordship of the town from Ferdinand II and Isabella (1503), took up residence there (...

Article

Reinhard Zimmermann

German castle on the River Tauber in the province of Baden-Württemberg; the seat of the Counts (later Princes) of Hohenlohe. In 1586 Wolfgang II, Count of Hohenlohe (1546–1610), began the conversion of the medieval moated castle into a prestigious residence. The design by Georg Robin (d 1590) probably envisaged a building on the ground-plan of an equilateral triangle, but only the south wing (1595–1603), built by Wolf Beringer, was completed. Its exterior was adorned with six scrollwork gables (1598). The large Rittersaal, one of the most elaborate of the period, has a coffered wooden ceiling by Elias Gunzenhäuser ( fl 1583–1606), the coffering filled with realistic hunting scenes (1600–01) by Balthasar Katzenberger ( fl 1600–13). The Renaissance garden (c. 1600) beyond the moat was replaced in 1708 by a Baroque garden designed by Daniel Mathieu. Garden sculptures (...

Article

J. J. Martín González

Hieronymite monastery, near Plasencia, province of Cáceres, Spain. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor ( see Habsburg, House of family §I, (5) ), retired to Yuste after his abdication in Brussels in 1556, and he lived there from February 1557 until his death on 21 September 1558. The building was begun in 1415 and was built under the patronage of the Condes de Oropesa (Alvarez de Toledo); part of the existing monastery dates from this time. Following the Emperor’s choice of Yuste, he sent plans for a new wing and detailed instructions for his personal requirements, and the enlargement was carried out in 1554–5 by Fray Antonio de Villacastín (1512–1603). It has been said that its style is derived from the house where Charles V was born in Ghent. The palace of Yuste was constructed of brick and masonry in a series of monolithic blocks along simple lines and without decoration. It is built on two floors with similarly disposed rooms, one floor for winter and the other for summer. Each floor contains a central corridor with access to the four rooms. Because of the Emperor’s poor health a ramp connected the ground floor to the first floor. On the first floor the ramp leads to a spacious terrace overlooking the magnificent landscape and valley of La Vera, from which there is access to the choir of the church, which the Emperor used. On the right of the entrance on each floor are an antechamber and chamber communicating with two other small rooms, belvederes resembling those in the towers of the Alhambra in Granada....