Schloss Weimar was the residence of the dukes of Saxe-Weimar and Eisenach, and has also been called Residenzschloss. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site 'Classical Weimar'.
In history, the palace was often destroyed by fire. The Baroque palace from the 17th century, with the church Schlosskirche where several works by Johann Sebastian Bach were premiered, was replaced by a Neoclassical structure after a fire in 1774. Four rooms were dedicated to the memory of poets who worked in Weimar, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johann Gottfried Herder, Friedrich Schiller and Christoph Martin Wieland. From 1923, the building has housed the Schlossmuseum, a museum with a focus on paintings of the 15th and 16th centuries and works of art related to Weimar, a cultural centre.
The building has been developed over the past 500 years. The first building on the site was a medieval moated castle, which was first documented at the end of the 10th century. After a fire in 1424, and again from the mid-16th century, when Weimar became the permanent residence of the dukes, it was remodelled. After another fire in 1618, reconstruction began in 1619 planned by the Italian architect Giovanni Bonalino. The church was completed in 1630, where several works by Johann Sebastian Bach were premiered between 1708 and 1717. Johann Moritz Richter changed the design to a symmetrical Baroque structure with three wings, open to the south.
The building was destroyed by fire in 1774. Duke Carl August formed a commission for its reconstruction directed by Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Architects Johann August Arens, Nikolaus Friedrich Thouret and Heinrich Gentz kept the former walls of the east and north wings and created a 'classical' interior, especially the staircase and the banqueting hall. Decoration was supplied by sculptor Christian Friedrich Tieck. In 1816, Clemens Wenzeslaus Coudray began plans for the west wing, which was reopened in 1847 with a court chapel. The wing contained the so-called Dichterzimmer (poets' rooms), initiated by Duchess Maria Pavlovna. They commemorate Christoph Martin Wieland, Johann Gottfried Herder, Friedrich Schiller and Goethe. From 1912 to 1914 a south wing was added under Duke Wilhelm Ernst.
The Herder Room was restored in 2005, the restoration of the Goethe Room and the Wieland Room was completed in 2014.References:
The Church of Our Lady before Týn is a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague and has been the main church of this part of the city since the 14th century. The church's towers are 80 m high and topped by four small spires.
In the 11th century, this area was occupied by a Romanesque church, which was built there for foreign merchants coming to the nearby Týn Courtyard. Later it was replaced by an early Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn in 1256. Construction of the present church began in the 14th century in the late Gothic style under the influence of Matthias of Arras and later Peter Parler. By the beginning of the 15th century, construction was almost complete; only the towers, the gable and roof were missing. The church was controlled by Hussites for two centuries, including John of Rokycan, future archbishop of Prague, who became the church's vicar in 1427. The roof was completed in the 1450s, while the gable and northern tower were completed shortly thereafter during the reign of George of Poděbrady (1453–1471). His sculpture was placed on the gable, below a huge golden chalice, the symbol of the Hussites. The southern tower was not completed until 1511, under architect Matěj Rejsek.
After the lost Battle of White Mountain (1620) began the era of harsh recatholicisation (part of the Counter-Reformation). Consequently, the sculptures of 'heretic king' George of Poděbrady and the chalice were removed in 1626 and replaced by a sculpture of the Virgin Mary, with a giant halo made from by melting down the chalice. In 1679 the church was struck by lightning, and the subsequent fire heavily damaged the old vault, which was later replaced by a lower baroque vault.
Renovation works carried out in 1876–1895 were later reversed during extensive exterior renovation works in the years 1973–1995. Interior renovation is still in progress.
The northern portal is a wonderful example of Gothic sculpture from the Parler workshop, with a relief depicting the Crucifixion. The main entrance is located on the church's western face, through a narrow passage between the houses in front of the church.
The early baroque altarpiece has paintings by Karel Škréta from around 1649. The oldest pipe organ in Prague stands inside this church. The organ was built in 1673 by Heinrich Mundt and is one of the most representative 17th-century organs in Europe.