Magnificent Medieval Architectures: Palaces of Sintra, Portugal and Vienna Cathedral, Austria

Magnificent Medieval Architectures: Palaces of Sintra, Portugal and Vienna Cathedral, Austria

Standing on a rugged hill in a park outside Sintra, the Palacio da Pena is an extraordinary confection, built by a cousin of Queen Victoria, Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, consort of Queen Mari II of Portugal. The Pena Palace incorporates a monastery, built in 1500, and is itself am imitation of a medieval Portuguese castle, conceived, with the help of a Prussian engineer, Ludwig von Eschwege, in a 19th-century Romantic-Gothic style.

Magnificent Medieval Architectures: Palaces of Sintra, Portugal and Vienna Cathedral, Austria

By Mr Ghaz, March 8, 2011

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Magnificent Medieval Architectures: Palaces of Sintra, Portugal and Vienna Cathedral, Austria

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Palaces of Sintra

Portugal

14th century onwards

Generations of the Portuguese royal family spent the hot summer months at Sintra – the ‘glorious Eden’ of Lord Byron’s, ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’ – in the Sierra de Sintra near Lisbon. No wonder, then, that Sintra’s two palaces have something of the air of holiday homes about them, and though not as ornate and dream-like as Ludwig of bavaria’s fantastical creations, they have nothing of the atmosphere belonging to a place where great affairs of state were once settled.

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The older of the two is the Royal Palace, a not very stylish combination of Moorish and Gothic architecture, in the center of Sintra. Pleasant enough to look at, though hardly palatial, the palace’s dominant feature, a pair of conical towers, are actually kitchen chimneys.

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Thought to have been built on the site of the Moorish Alcazar, the Royal Palace was the favorite home of John I (crowned in 1385, and signatory with Richard II of the important Treaty of Windsor with England in 1386), in whose reign the palace was built. Manuel I (king from 1495), during whose reign the elaborate Portuguese style called Manueline appeared in the country’s art and architecture, added a wing in which Manueline decorative features dominate. Other sections were added in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Standing on a rugged hill in a park outside Sintra, the Palacio da Pena is an extraordinary confection, built by a cousin of Queen Victoria, Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, consort of Queen Mari II of Portugal. The Pena Palace incorporates a monastery, built in 1500, and is itself am imitation of a medieval Portuguese castle, conceived, with the help of a Prussian engineer, Ludwig von Eschwege, in a 19th-century Romantic-Gothic style.

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Above: Consisting of various structures, built during the course of successive epochs on the so-called ‘Chao da Oliva’, the Paco da Vila de Sintra is one of the most important examples of regal architecture in Portugal and as such is classified as a national moment. The gradual additions of buildings in different styles add to the enigmatic charm of this ancient palace, dominated by twin towers that are in reality kitchen chimneys.

Vienna Cathedral

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Austria

1304-1440

St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stefansdom) in Vienna is a large and impressive hall church (hallenkirchen), in a uniquely German Gothic style. In the hall church, the vaults of the nave and aisles are of equal height, so that one roof covers the whole building. Vienna Cathedral predates the Habsburgs, having been founded in the 13th century, shortly before Vienna was surrendered to Rudolf I, the first Habsburg emperor, in 1273. Most of the present building is later, having been started at the beginning of the 14th century. The west front, which includes parts of the Romanesque original, was the first to be built, flanked by two unusual and oddly proportioned octagonal towers that terminate in spires.

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The cathedral’s transepts act as entrance porches, while above the south transept rises its finest feature, the great 450-ft (137-m) steeple, begun in 1399. The well-known Parler families of master builders were involved in its design and construction, and Peter Parler’s pupil, Hans von Prachatitz, completed it in 1433. The cathedral’s designs also included a twin steeple over the north transept porch, but this was never built.

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Vienna Cathedral is a typical hall church in that the nave and aisles are covered by a single, immense and steeply pitched roof. Its striking zigzag pattern of black, green, white and yellow tiles, and the huge Habsburg eagle over the choir, is 19th-century. Also typical of galleries or a clerestory, leaving the cathedral to be illuminated by windows in the aisle.

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Above: , – is one of Vienna’s pivotal sights. It defines the city center, having lain at its heart for many centuries.

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19 Comments
wawancash, posted this comment on Mar 8th, 2011

nice share

megamatt09, posted this comment on Mar 8th, 2011

Some nice architecture. Thank you for sharing.

CHIPMUNK, posted this comment on Mar 8th, 2011

great ideas

Heloni Lynn, posted this comment on Mar 8th, 2011

Breathtaking, for sure… thank you for sharing!

galore, posted this comment on Mar 8th, 2011

all structures are very beautiful, seems came from story book

Starpisces, posted this comment on Mar 8th, 2011

awesome write, well done, Mr Ghaz.

Sarah Rebecca, posted this comment on Mar 8th, 2011

Thanks for sharing!

webseowriters, posted this comment on Mar 8th, 2011

Thanks for a wonderful share

anndavey650, posted this comment on Mar 8th, 2011

The Palaces of Sintra are simply amazing!

MaxBuceo, posted this comment on Mar 8th, 2011

Interesting share. I like this post

hfj, posted this comment on Mar 8th, 2011

Good article. Unbelievable artwork and pictures. Well done friend.

Eldridge, posted this comment on Mar 8th, 2011

Simply stunned

mtrguanlao, posted this comment on Mar 9th, 2011

My hubby is so fortunate to have seen the Vienna Cathedral in real life. Love your article ghaz! Amazing photos,as usual!

Idazalee, posted this comment on Mar 9th, 2011

Wow! Wonderful and beautiful architectures. The Palaces of Sintra looks so stunning. Like-it :)

Mansor, posted this comment on Mar 9th, 2011

Interesting article and great photographs. I really like this post. Thanks MrG!

papaleng, posted this comment on Mar 9th, 2011

Awesome photos, friend.

AllanD, posted this comment on Mar 10th, 2011

:) Another breathtaking images. Great share! I like this post

lucia anna, posted this comment on Mar 21st, 2011

Wonderful

Francois Hagnere, posted this comment on Apr 19th, 2011

Thank you for this extremely interesting post. Your pics are really superb. You how much I love these places! Very best wishes always.

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