Peter Parler

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Peter Parler (in Czech, Petr Parléř), 1330 (?) - July 13, 1399 was a German master architect best known for his work on Charles Bridge and St. Vitus' Cathedral in Prague. His architectural style exemplifies that of Sondergotik, or 'Special Gothic'. Indeed, St. Vitus' Cathedral is considered to be the perfection of this style.[1]

Born in Schwäbisch Gmünd around 1330, Peter Parler was the son of master builder Heinrich Parler and the most well-known in a family of master masons and architects. He moved to Prague in the 1350's, where he was commissioned by Emperor Charles IV as lead designer of the New Town of Prague, Charles Bridge, and the continuance of St. Vitus' Cathedral after the death of original architect Matthius of Arras. After Parler's own death and burial within the cathedral complex, work continued under the supervision of his sons, Wenzel and Johann, and his brother Michael.

Parler's work is notable for its intricate high Gothic style, particularly in the attention to detail, the delicate filigrée, and the flying buttresses of the St. Vitus' Cathedral that are common in many Sondergotik works[2]. Under the patronage of Emperor Charles IV, Parler's worked on commissions across Bohemia and Southern Germany.

Significant works

Charles Bridge and its towers, Prague

St. Vitus' Cathedral, Prague - master mason

New Town of Prague - lead designer

The facade of Karlštejn castle

Chapel of Staroměstská Radnice

The bow windows of the Karolinum complex

  1. John Harvey, The Gothic World, 1100-1600: A Survey of Architecture and Art. B. T. Batsford, London 1950 p 112-116.
  2. Kurt Gerstenberg: Deutsche Sondergotik. Delphin, München 1913