Guadix is believed to be one of the oldest diocesan seats in Spain; tradition has it that the diocese was founded by Saint Torquatus of Acci in the first century A.D. The cathedral sits on the site of an earlier Hispano-Visigothic church extant in the 10th century, and which functioned during the Islamic period as a mosque.
During the Reconquista, Guadix was captured by the Christian forces in 1489, and the Hispano-Visigothic church was re-established as the seat of a bishopric. It was made a cathedral by a bull of Pope Innocent VIII. Plans were made to replace the old church with a Gothic cathedral as a symbol of the Reconquista, but by the time construction began, that style was already considered antiquated. Diego de Siloé was commissioned in 1549 to develop a design reflecting the influence of the cathedrals of Málaga and Granada. The apse, part of the crossing, the chapel of Don Tadeo and parte part of the sacristy were completed according to Siloé's plan.
In 1574, work stopped for lack of money, and was not resumed until 1594, when Bishop Juan de Fonseca y Guzmán resumed the project.
The work received a new impulse at the end of the 17th century and beginning of the 18th with economic assistance from the king. Blas Antonio Delgado was placed in charge of the new plans, with changes in the design giving more emphasis to horizontal lines. Delgado laid out the general design of the cathedral, the elevations, the doors and the cupola, but in 1714 had to move to Jaén. Vicente Acero took over, reworking the plan extensively, before also having to move on. The city government approached Francisco de Hurtado Izquierdo; rather than take on the project himself, he recommended Gaspar Cayón de la Vega. The strong imprint of Cayón de la Vega can be seen in the latter stages of construction of the building, in the vaulting, the dome, and in the portada de las Azucenas—the front portion of the building, utilizing a motif of lilies—which Acero had begun.
When Cayón de la Vega left for Cádiz in 1731, the façade was under construction according to his plans, but others such as Vicente Acero, Pachote, and Thomas added pieces that were not in Cayón's plan.
The chapel of Don Tadeo shows strong Italian structural influences in its solution to the problem of vaulting arches within a cylindrical structure. Another notable element is the front of the sacristy, with its Renaissance pediment, its entablature, and the arch between Corinthian columns with the coats of arms of the bishops of the city.
The façade is a splendid example of the Baroque architecture, with two massed bodies and a pinnacle, with alternating concave and convex lines; the large central span, flanked by two lintels composed of groups of broad-based columns. The upper part was realized by Fernández Pachote and Domingo Thomas; Antonio Valeriano Moyano sculpted the marble Incarnation.References:
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).
It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.
After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.
UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.