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Patwant Singh

Sikh holy city in Punjab, northern India. Lying on a flat stretch of agricultural land between the rivers Beas and Ravi, close to the Pakistan border, Amritsar (Skt amrit sarowar, ‘pool of nectar’) is the location of the Harmandir, the holiest of Sikh shrines at the heart of the Darbar Sahib temple complex, also referred to as the Golden Temple (see also Indian subcontinent §II 8., (ii) and §III, 7(ii)(a), fig.). It was the third Sikh guru, Amar Das (1552–74), who was first drawn to the area by the peace and tranquillity of its forested terrain and the pool where the Harmandir was later built. His successor, Guru Ram Das (1574–81), bought the pool and the surrounding land. Some historians believe that the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605) offered the land as a gift, but that Ram Das declined in keeping with the Sikh tradition of self-reliance (...

Article

Catherine Brisac

French town and château some 8 km south-east of Paris, in the département of Val-de-Marne. The château was built (1680–86) for Anne-Marie-Louise d’Orléans, Duchesse de Montpensier (1627–93), by Jacques Gabriel IV. His design was a simple one, with strong horizontal lines countered by tall rectangular windows and rusticated quoins to the shallow projecting bays. Artists employed on the interior decoration included the painters Antoine Coypel, Gabriel Blanchard, Jean Le Moyne and Adam Frans van der Meulen and the sculptor Etienne Le Hongre. The grounds were laid out by André Le Nôtre. Used as a hunting-lodge by Louis XV, King of France, from 1740, the château was enlarged by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in several campaigns (1742–52), the additions including a gallery, a theatre and various garden buildings. Much sculpture was commissioned for the grounds, which were remodelled, including work by René-Michel Slodtz and Edmé Bouchardon. In ...

Article

Cornish  

Keith N. Morgan

American town and former artists’ colony in the state of New Hampshire. Situated on a line of hills near the eastern bank of the Connecticut River c. 160 km north-west of Boston, Cornish looks across to Windsor, VT, and Mt Ascutney. It was settled in 1763 as an agrarian community, but its population was rapidly reduced during the migration to the cities in the second half of the 19th century. From 1885 until around the time of World War I, Cornish was the summer home of a group of influential sculptors, painters, architects, gardeners, and writers. For this coherent group, the Cornish hills symbolized an ideal natural environment that reflected the classical images so important in their work. The sculptor who first spent a summer in Cornish in 1885, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, bought his summer residence there in 1891, and he was soon followed by the painters Henry Oliver Walker (...

Article

Quentin Hughes

Small west German town at the confluence of the Rhine and Queich rivers, which was refortified, like many other frontier towns, after the Napoleonic Wars. In the 1840s the town was encircled by fortifications designed by Friedrich Ritter von Schmauss (1792–1846). Influenced by the French military engineers Marc-René de Montalembert (1714–1800) and Lazare Carnot (1753–1823), he built them not with bastions but with powerful multi-gun caponiers and casemated batteries covering and flanking straight faces of wall retrenched by defensible barracks. This was the German system of polygonal fortification, and, although it was different from the bastion system that had dominated military architecture for three hundred years, there were still arguments about its effectiveness in war.

These fortifications were dismantled in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles (1919), but fine remnants survive, including the central sector of the Beckers Front with a caponier, ravelin, flank batteries and redoubts, all carried out in a combination of precise brickwork and rusticated masonry. The Ludwigs Tor or gate of ...

Article

Quentin Hughes

Bavarian fortified town halfway between Munich and Nuremberg, on the left bank of the Danube at its confluence with the Schutter. It was originally fortified in the 16th century, and there is a fine contemporary model of those defences by Jakob Sandtner in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich, depicting a walled town stiffened in places by large semicircular-headed drum towers similar to those drawn by Albrecht Dürer in the first printed book on fortification (1527).

Ingolstadt was completely refortified in four phases during the 19th century. Between 1828 and 1832 a scheme, somewhat reminiscent of Dürer’s work, was begun to provide a curving front and detached oval towers. On the east bank of the river, the splendid Tilly Redoubt (1828) was built in the form of a large semicircle backing on to the river, and this was supported by detached oval towers. The redoubt was elaborately detailed by ...

Article

Quentin Hughes

Fortified port on the Ligurian coast of north-west Italy. Lying at the head of a sheltered bay whose western shore is indented by several creeks, La Spezia affords safe anchorage for a large fleet in almost all weathers. The old town was walled by the Genoese in 1443, strengthened at one corner by the fortress of S Giorgio, a 17th-century square-bastioned fort that acted as a citadel. Napoleon Bonaparte suggested making La Spezia into a great naval base, but it was not until after 1861 that it became the chief naval harbour of Italy. The town expanded along the waterfront and the water basins with a gridiron of streets, protected in the 19th century by additional fortified walls designed by General Domenico Chiodo (1823–70) who also designed the vast arsenal, over 1000 m long and on average 750 m wide.

To defend the anchorages, forts and batteries were built on the promontories along the indented western coast, Fort S Maria being the most interesting. Designed to resist attack from the land and to provide a platform for numerous guns to bombard attacking ships, this is a classic design of a fortification consisting of a hornwork with its demi-bastions facing the land and a star fort facing the sea. It was built by the Genoese military engineer ...

Article

Lednice  

Jiří Kroupa

[Ger. Eisgrub]

Town in southern Moravia, Czech Republic, known for its manor house and garden. Situated on the border with Lower Austria, about halfway between Brno and Vienna, the estate belonged to the Liechtenstein princes from the mid-13th century to 1945. Before 1588 Hartmann II, Landgrave of Feldberg, had commissioned a house and ornamental garden for use as the family’s country seat. The house was modernized in the 17th century by Charles Eusebius, Prince of Liechtenstein, who employed, among others, the stuccoist Bernardo Bianchi, the masons Pietro Maderna, Pietro Tencalla and Francesco Caratti (1632) and the architects Giovanni Battista I Carlone (ii), Giovanni Giacomo Tencalla from Vienna and Andrea Erna from Brno (1638–41). Further modifications were made by Antonio Beduzzi in the 1730s, by Isidore Canevale in 1766–72 and by Joseph Kornhäusel, who gave the house a Neo-classical façade in 1815. The only part of the house to remain unaltered was the monumental riding school and its stables, designed in ...

Article

Ravello  

Antonio Milone

Italian cathedral city in the province of Salerno, Campania. Ravello has been documented as an urban centre since the 10th century and as a bishopric since 1087. The centre, near the Toro quarter, is high up between the two rivers that separate the city from Scala and Minori. The city’s fortifications were damaged and the city itself was sacked by a Pisan assault in 1135 and in 1137. At the end of the 14th century, its inhabitants also clashed with the neighbouring city of Scala. In the 13th century a mercantile oligarchy with power throughout all of Sicily and close relations to the Crown took control of the city, celebrated in Boccaccio’s Decameron (II.4), and enriched it with numerous monuments and artworks.

The cathedral, dedicated to S Pantaleone, dates to 1087 but was extensively altered in the late 18th century. The cathedral has three naves and the façade has three portals—the central one has a bronze door (...

Article

M. A. Claringbull

[anc. Kāsī: ‘City of Light’; Kashi; Vārāṇasī; Banāras; Benares]

Sacred city and pilgrimage centre on the banks of the Ganga River between the Barna, or Varuna, and Asi rivers in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is the most holy of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism (the others being Ayodhya, Mathura, Hardwar, Kanchipuram, Ujjain and Dwarka) and has been the focus of Brahmanical learning and religious pilgrimage from ancient times.

The existence of the city from earliest times is attested by myriad references in the sacred texts. The kingdom of Kashi is mentioned in the Vedas, and the kings of Kashi are referred to in the Mahābhārata, although not until the Puranas is Varanasi mentioned as the capital city of Kashi. Around the time of the Buddha (600 bc) 16 great city states flourished in north India, the three most prominent being Maghada, Koshala and Varanasi. Owing to its strategic position at the confluence of the Ganga and Varuna rivers, Varanasi was a significant trading and commercial centre. In many tales of the previous lives of Buddha (Skt ...