The Basilica of St Peter and St Paul is a neo-Gothic church in Vyšehrad fortress. Originally founded in 1070-1080 by the Czech King Vratislav II, the Romanesque basilica suffered a fire in the year 1249 and has been rebuilt in Gothic and later in neo-Gothic style. The basilica features an impressive stone mosaic above its entry, and its twin 58 m towers can be seen atop a hill to the south from along the Vltava River in central Prague.
The current building itself is a neo-Gothic basilica constructed between 1885 and 1903. The main part of the church consists of a nave with two side aisles; a large choir, sanctuary and apse; and two side rooms which hold a sacristy and a chapel for Panna Maria Šancovská Our Lady of the Ramparts.
History is the dominant element thematically of the interior décor; the history of art, Christianity and the Czech lands are all aspects of the decoration. As a piece of art history the church is something of an exhibition of Gothic, art nouveau and even Baroque pieces.
Along with the design of the building the main altar, the pulpit, and all the smaller altars in the side chapels are neo Gothic as well. They are intricately carved with mini-spires and tracery throughout. Even the organ which sits above the entrance has hollow spires matching those of the western towers. In addition, each chapel contains Gothic revival paintings. The theme of the stained glass windows is the history of Gothic architecture; each window portrays Jesus before a different Gothic or neo-Gothic church. Completing the tribute to the Gothic style is a large fresco at the eastern end of the northern aisle of the first Gothic church to stand on the spot.References:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.