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.
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.