The Propylaea is a city gate in Munich at the west side of Koenigsplatz. The building constructed in Doric order was completed by Leo von Klenze in 1862 and evokes the monumental entrance of the Propylaea for the Athenian Acropolis. The gate was created as a memorial for the accession to the throne of Otto of Greece, a son of the principal King Ludwig I of Bavaria.
As early as 1816 it was already considered to build the Propylaea, but it took 30 years until the order was issued for this purpose. Klenze painted a picture before the construction of the Propylaea, to promote its project. As King Ludwig I had resigned in 1848, the project was called into question because Munich at that time did not need a gate anymore. Finally Ludwig I financed the building from his private resources as a sign of the friendship between Greece and Bavaria as well as a monument to the Greek War of Independence.
The Propylaea was opened shortly before King Otto was forced to resign. While on a visit to the Peloponnese in 1862 a coup was launched in Greece, a provisional Government was set up and summoned a National Convention. Ambassadors of the Great Powers urged King Otto not to resist, and the king and queen took refuge on a British warship and returned to Bavaria. So the Propylaea have also become a monument for the failed secundogeniture of the Wittelsbach.
Each of the two towers of the gate is a powerful block with a large portal and an open room upstairs. The two portals of the towers served to freight transport, the driving (as seen from the city) leaving the city was operated through the left gate, in the downtown of freight passed through the right gate. The monumental gate in the middle of the Propylaea was reserved for riders and city cars. The underside of the roofs of the towers was designed as a coffered ceiling. If somebody wanted to move the upper floor between the towers, one would have to climb over the railing on the flat roof.
While the exterior shows Doric columns in the interior Ionic columns can be found to bear the rafters of the Propylaea. In addition, the floor plan shows as well as the section of the gatehouse, that the basement of the building could be traversed by stairs, platforms and passageways.
The neo-classical architects of that time knew already that Greek temples were colored. But unfortunately, it was unknown how they succeeded in ancient Greece, marble surfaces to be provided with bright colors. Leo von Klenze would give the building a magnificent colors jewelry, but he also found a solution for the application of the paint. So he planned instead the plastic decoration of the Propylaea. The reliefs and sculptures celebrating the Bavarian prince and the Greek War of Independence were created by Ludwig Michael Schwanthaler.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.