Jakob Prandtauer


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One of the greatest of Austrian Baroque architects, related to Munggenast, he designed the huge Benedictine Abbey of Melk (1702–38), high on a cliff-top on the south bank of the Danube, some 50 miles west of Vienna. Pevsner called it the ‘Durham of the Baroque’, a judgement with which there can be full agreement, for the architectural composition vigorously exploits the splendours of its site and makes a Sublime impact. The handsome Abbey Church, with its twin towers and high cupola, is placed between two wings of the Abbey buildings (in which are the Library and Kaisersaal (Emperor's Hall) ) projecting in front of its façade and converging towards the cliff-edge. Set on a podium, these wings are linked in front of the Church by a mighty arch (its form derived from a serliana), and appear to embrace the court before the church.

Prandtauer and Munggenast built the Parish and Pilgrimage Church (Wallfahrts-kirche) of Sonntagberg (1706–32), with a façade perhaps influenced by Fischer von Erlach's Dreifaltigkeitskirche (Holy Trinity Church), Salzburg. He designed the Marmorsaal (Marble Hall) and very fine open stair at C. A. Carlone's Monastery of St Florian (1718–24), completed Carlone's Pilgrimage Church of Christkindl near Steyr (1708–9), collaborated with Matthias Steinl and (1644–1727) Munggenast at the Church at Dürnstein (from 1717), and transformed the Cathedral of St Pölten (from 1722) into a Baroque building. He also built several houses in St Pölten.

Bourke (1962);Brucker (1983);Feuchtmüller (1960);Feuchtmüller (ed.) (1984);E. Hempel (1965);Millon (1961);Placzek (ed.) (1982);Pevsner (1960);Sedlmayr (1930);Jane Turner (1996);

Subjects: Architecture.

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