Dominican Monastery is the oldest gothic monument in České Budějovice. It consists of Church of Presentation of Virgin Mary and town fortifications. Today, the monastery belongs to the cultural heritage of the Czech Republic and there is placed the Artistic school.
The Dominican monastery in České Budějovice with the well-preserved Gothic cloister was built at the same time as the city. It was probably the first town building in the city of České Budějovice. The city was ranked among royal towns during the reign of king Ottokar II of Bohemia. The city was founded in 1265 by the Czech king Ottokar II of Bohemia. The monastery was founded probably a few years before by the same king.
The monastery was part of the town fortifications as was usual at that time. The monastery belonged to the order of Dominicans since its beginning. The cloister of monastery and the Church of Presentation of Virgin Mary are the only remains of the early gothic complex. Plans of the monastery were changed even during the construction in 13th century. The whole monastery complex was probably completed at the beginning of 14th century.
Numerous fires are the reason of a lot of reconstructions. The most devastating fire destroyed convent buildings in 1723. The monastery was abolished by Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor in 1785. Piarists took it over and they set up the dormitory. They were replaced by Redemptonstis in 1885 who rebuilt the monastery in Neogothic style and they left in 1949 because of the communism regime.
The exterior of monastery unlike the church is marked by numerous, mainly Baroque, reconstructions. Reconstructions are visible on the facade chiefly on the roof extension with noticeable baroque elliptic windows. Original gothic tower with the bulb dome was completely rebuilt in Baroque style except one Gothic window which remained on the first floor. All exterior portals are also Baroque apart from the Gothic one in the south-western part of the monastery´s wall. The arches of the cloister and the first floor towards the heavenly court are maintained in the Gothic style. The tracery of windows isn’t original; windows in two arches of cloister and neogothic extension in court have neogothic division. The first lanced arch consists of small saddle portal; tapered tracery with three and four-leaves, is decorated by another tracery in flamboyant style. The second tracery is divided by more dense net of spherical triangles and three and four-leaves. Narrow windows on the five-side extension in the court are divided into two parts and triangle with three-leaves.
The most significant interior architectural monument is the inner wall of cloister. On the wall of cloister there are visible wall-paintings, remains of former portals, niches and windows with preserved metal division which are wall up nowadays. Some parts which are surrounded by the arch and the bracket contain both the right window and the portal beside it. The rest of the field was decorated by wall-paintings.
Vault is cross like in the church and ribs have similar profile as the ribs in the church. Brackets in inner side of cloister are simply formed without decoration; we can also find atypical supports with vegetable motives. In the court direction the arc is supported by two columns with heads decorated by vegetable motives. In other corners pillars with undecorated heads step 10 cm in space. Each bay of the vault between ribs was decorated as well as walls. The most valuable wall-picture is located in the cloister and shows Holy Virgin, the patron of České Budějovice, who hides real figures of the emperor Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and his son Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia under the open coat. Painting dates back probably to 1378. Between 5th and 7 May in 1378 the emperor Charles IV with his 17-year-old son spent their time in the royal town České Budějovice where they were attending meeting with Czech aristocrats, ecclesiastics and the nobleman of the Holy Roman Empire.
Les Invalides is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building"s original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l"Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d"Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France"s war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte.
Louis XIV initiated the project in 1670, as a home and hospital for aged and unwell soldiers: the name is a shortened form of hôpital des invalides. The architect of Les Invalides was Libéral Bruant. The enlarged project was completed in 1676, the river front measured 196 metres and the complex had fifteen courtyards. Jules Hardouin Mansart assisted the aged Bruant, and the chapel was finished in 1679 to Bruant"s designs after the elder architect"s death.
Shortly after the veterans" chapel was completed, Louis XIV commissioned Mansart to construct a separate private royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature. Inspired by St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome, the original for all Baroque domes, it is one of the triumphs of French Baroque architecture. The domed chapel is centrally placed to dominate the court of honour. It was finished in 1708.
Because of its location and significance, the Invalides served as the scene for several key events in French history. On 14 July 1789 it was stormed by Parisian rioters who seized the cannons and muskets stored in its cellars to use against the Bastille later the same day. Napoleon was entombed under the dome of the Invalides with great ceremony in 1840. In December 1894 the degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus was held before the main building, while his subsequent rehabilitation ceremony took place in a courtyard of the complex in 1906.
The building retained its primary function of a retirement home and hospital for military veterans until the early twentieth century. In 1872 the musée d"artillerie (Artillery Museum) was located within the building to be joined by the Historical Museum of the Armies in 1896. The two institutions were merged to form the present musée de l"armée in 1905. At the same time the veterans in residence were dispersed to smaller centres outside Paris. The reason was that the adoption of a mainly conscript army, after 1872, meant a substantial reduction in the numbers of veterans having the twenty or more years of military service formerly required to enter the Hôpital des Invalides. The building accordingly became too large for its original purpose. The modern complex does however still include the facilities detailed below for about a hundred elderly or incapacitated former soldiers.