The Zwinger Today

The Zwinger is a place, which located in German City of Dresden. It is a typical Rococo and Baroque Architecture. Matthaus Danial Poppelmann who was a court architect for the King of Poland and Augustus II the Strong designed the Zwinger in 1709 and completed in 1732.

King Saxony not only had great military talent but also enjoyed art and life. He loved wine and beauties. At the same time, he was the father for more than 300 children. In order to show his artistic taste, he commanded to construct the Zwinger.

Initially, the Zwinger is a square that built by wood, as Saxon kings and nobles celebrating places to hold competitions and games. During 1710-1719, Matthaus Danail Poppelmann used sandstone to rebuild the Zwinger palace. Both sides of the place were surrounded by pavilions and galleries. The most popular and attractive place for photographers is Kronentor that is adorned by the ancient Greece and Roma elements and also has Italy Baroque elements. In the Zwinger square, there is one of the most beautiful Baroque German fountains Nymphenbad.

In the World War II, the Zwinger was bombed by the British aircraft and almost completely destroyed. The Zwinger now was imitated with its original model after the war.

Now, the Zwinger is a museum that contains Old Masters Picture Gallery, the Dresden Porcelain Collection and Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instrument.





Church of St. Charles


Church of St. Charles (Karlskirche Church) is located on the south side of Karlsplatz in Vienna, which is one of the grandest churches of the Baroque period. It is designed by Johann Bernhard Fisher von Erlach in 1716 and completed in 1730. Fisher von Erlach started Austrian Baroque period and he is one of the most excellent Austrian architects. After his death in 1723, his son Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach completed the construction.

In 1713, the last great Black Death epidemic period, the Roman Emperor Karl Vl decided to build a church for St Charles Borromeo who was revered as a healer for plague sufferers. Therefore, a architecture competition of building church held the following year. Erlach and his son won the honor. A gorgeous and elegant Baroque masterwork was created.

In Erlach’s design, he referenced ancient Greek and Roman building styles, such as the dome from St. Peter’s and the portico from the Parthenon. “The central bulk is framed by two Trojan pillars, with spiral re-life’s, creating a dramatic entrance. The low wide front and huge dome also create vertical and horizontal movement (Daniel et al., 2008 p249). ” Inside the church, there are numerous elaborate carvings and altarpieces, including Gran and Altomonte’s works.

Baroque style uses to glorify the beauty of the building. It mixed a variety of artistic elements including sculpture, painting and music. However, some people think Baroque art form too extravagant and gaudy, which opposite to Christian simple and humble life attitude and the construction of the church. Erlach’s design of Baroque architecture is magnificent and dignified, which makes people believe the romantic curve and colorful decoration do not against doctrine and love God.



Daniel et al. (2008). Architecture A World History. New York: Abrams, Inc.

Baroque throughout the World

Schonbrunn Palace

Baroque architecture spread to France, southern Germany, Austria, British, Portugal and Latin American colonies, from Italy Rome.

In Austria, the baroque style is mainly affected by German Baroque. In the 18th Century, many famous Austrian buildings were designed by German architects, such as Schonbrunn Palace. The facade of Schonbrunn Palace used classical style, but inside of the building used Italian Baroque style to decorate. Vienna is the capital of Austria and Habsburgs, which had ruled Austria, Bohemia, Hungary and other central European region. In the 17th century, after regaining Hungary and Balkans form Turks, Vienna states had consolidated and improved. At the same time, Vienna became the first city that has characteristics of Baroque in German-speaking countries. Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt and Jacob Prandtauer play the major role in Vienna Baroque evolution.

Baroque style was popular in Catholic countries. British is a Protestant country and prefer simple style. Therefore, Baroque style has slowly adopted. However, during the restoration of Charles II, he started to use ornate style to demonstrate the power.

“On the Iberian Peninsula, Spanish and Portuguese architects combined Baroque dynamism with Gothic traditions (Daniel et al., 2008 p226).”

Baroque architecture even spread to Asia including, China and Japan. For example, Chinese emperor’s Simmer Palace had Baroque buildings and garden. Hikone Castle, a famous Japanese Castles, was built in Bernese Baroque style.


Hikone Castle


Works Cited

Daniel et al. (2008). Architecture A World History. New York: Abrams, Inc.

Würzburg Residence


Wurzburg residence is located on the Main River, which surrounded by mountains.  It is the greatest and most magnificent baroque palace in Germany.

Two prince-bishops Johann Philipp Franz and Friedrich Kari von Schonborn provided funds for Wurzburg residence. It was designed by Balthasar Neumann in 1718 and completed in 1744. Most of decorators came from Vienna, Italy, Holland and Belgium. Therefore, Wurzburg residence has golden sandstone wall, spacious stairs, luxury Roman style rooms and a beautiful garden that is a typical European architecture.

Wurzburg residence is based on a C-shape plan. The ceiling of magnificent staircase has the world’s largest fresco which was painted by Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo who used three years to complete. The main hall is decorated with marble sculptures. The central part of the side building has an oval shape hall. Those halls are typical baroque style. The palace has more than 340 halls and rooms, including white hall, imperial hall and court chapel. Wurzburg residence demonstrated the wealth of the Schonborn family.


In 1804, Napoleon invaded Bavaria and captured the Wurzburg. He impressed by the gorgeous palace and called “the nicest parsonage in Europe”.

During World War II, Wurzburg residence had been seriously damaged. Fortunately, some large furnishings and artworks had been removed in time.  The renovation of Wurzburg residence cost 20 million euros. It reopened to visitors until 1987.

Wurzburg residence is the masterwork of German Baroque architecture, which also represents the most luxurious and splendid period of the European court.




German Baroque Architecture

Wurzburg Residence

Due to political reasons, many European countries were affected by the Roman Baroque relatively late, such as Germany and Austria. However, once they accepted, it is hardly control to stop and quickly developed this style to extremes. For example in Germany, SS. Georg and Martin, Wurzburg Residence, Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and Sans Souci are the greatest Baroque architecture around the world.  Balthasar Neumann, Asam Brothers and Georg von Knobelsdorff are famous Baroque architects who designed those buildings.

Following the 30 Years’ War, Baroque style arrived in Germany. During the later period of the 17th century, many German architects studied and returned from Italy. They combined the Italian Baroque style with German national architectural style. The Germany Baroque royal and government buildings also based on French Baroque style. Versailles is the best example. IN the first half of 18th century, the German Baroque architecture became a wonderful art in the history of European architecture. Wuerzburg, Munich, Dresden and Potsdam have become European best Baroque City.

German Baroque style churches have simple and elegant appearances. Those buildings coordinate with the natural environment. The outer wall is flat. There is not too much decorations. The interior decoration is gorgeous, which results a strong contrast inside and outside. Well-known examples are the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers in outskirts of Bamberg and St. Rochus pilgrimage church.

Interior of the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers




Church of the Gesu

The Church of the Gesu is the representative of the transition from Mannerism to the Baroque style that was designed by Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola and Giacomo della Porta who are Italian famous architect and Architectural theorist in the late period of Renaissance. The Church of the Gesu is also known as the first truly Baroque architecture. (Mannerism is a kind of artistic styles in late 16th century Europe.)


“The church of the Holy Name of Jesus (II Gesu) was designed on the request of Pope Famese for the new order of the Jesuits. (Daniel et al., 2008 p228)”

Construction on the church began in 1568 and was completed in 1580 in Roma. The plane of the church is rectangular. At the end of the building structure, a holy shrine highlights the church, which evolved from Gothic churches’ Latin cross. The main nave is spacious and vault covered with sculptures and paintings. Two rows of small prayer rooms are instead of the two side aisles. The altar was decorated richly and the flowers above the altar used the classical French style as icons and decorative light.


Porta designed the façade and the first high altar. Unfortunately, the first high alter had been removed during the renovations in the 19th century. While Porta referenced architectural methods of Florence Santa Maria chapel that was designed by early Renaissance architect Alberti, he no longer emphasized the orderly arrangement. The façade is divided into two sections. The lower part is divided by six pairs of pilasters and the upper part is divided by four pairs of pilasters. Both sides of the upper sections have two large scrolls.

Those architectural design methods make the light and shadow more complex. The building becomes easy to distinguish. Those characteristics have been widely following lately.



Works Cited

Daniel et al. (2008). Architecture A World History. New York: Abrams, Inc.


The Palace of Versailles is located 20 kilometers far from Paris City. It is one of five greatest palaces in the world (Beijing Forbidden City, Versailles, Buckingham Palace, White House and Russia Kremlin). It is also the perfect combination of Classicism and Baroque architecture.

The palace of Versailles

Versailles is the symbol of the absolute monarchy, which was built by French Royalty. In 1623, Louis XIII bought Versailles’s original location and built a hunting lodge. At that time, Versailles only had 26 rooms. During the reign of Louis XIV, Versailles has been expanded. In 1682, Louis XIV decided to move the French court from Paris to Versailles. Versailles is the crystal of many French artists and architects’ design. It also has become the most magnificent palace around Europe. Louis XV and Louis XVI successively expanded and added new things. At last, Versailles had more than 700 rooms and covered approximately 51000 square meters.

Versailles was built by classical standard with a three-stage process. It means the building is divided into vertically and horizontally three sections. Versailles is a symmetrical building and the appearance is neatly, which is known as the representative of the rational beauty. However, the Baroque is the main style of interior decoration. Some halls also used Rococo style.

“The chateau itself is only part of the large landscape grounds, which include the Grand Trianon, the Paviion Francais, the Petit Trianon, and the Jardin du Petit Trianon. There are also five chapels in the complex (Daniel et al., 2008 p242).”

The Royal Chapel

If the appearance of Versailles makes you feel magnificent, then its interior decoration and furnishings create the feeling that is full of art atmosphere. The interior decoration is extremely luxurious which one of feature of Versailles is. More than five hundreds halls are shining everywhere. The inner walls are decorated with carving, huge oil painting and tapestries. Sun that is the symbol of Louis XIV is also a common theme in Versailles. There are lots of metal stair railings, and some metal parts even covered gold.


In 1789, when Louis XVI was held by people to go to Paris, it states the end of Versailles as a royal palace. Versailles as a court only kept 107 years.

Today, Versailles as a museum has 67staricases, 2300 rooms, 2153 windows and 5210 pieces of furniture.


Works Cited

Daniel et al. (2008). Architecture A World History. New York: Abrams, Inc.