Latrán No. 104, Budějovická brána (Budweiser Gate)

Latrán no.  104, Budějovická Gate, view towards the town of Český Krumlov, foto: Ladislav Pouzar Location:
Latrán No. 104, Budějovická brána (Budweiser Gate)

Description of the Building:
City gate (see History of gates and fortification of Český Krumlov) situated on a rock above Polečnice and enclosed by adjoining residential houses. The northern face (facing out of the city) creates an illusion of a massive fortification. The facade is divided into three fields by pilasters with Doric caps and shanks with quoins. The wider central field contains a large portal made of vault-stones that delineate sunken space for the draw-bridge. The openings with wooden pulleys still exist. The modern city escutcheon is located above the portal. The narrower side fields framed by corner quoins have two carrels vaulted by a semidome, and at the higher level a chiaroscuro painting of a conch. A modern passage goes through the western ground floor carrel. The pilasters hold a Doric entablature articulated with triglyphs and adjoining is a massive rounded indented frieze. Behind it, the mass of the tower with pentagonal floor plan is visible. In the northern direction there is an edge with illusory quoins, sgraffito rustic on the sides and illusory corner quoins. The southern face is, on the contrary, a simple slender tower with a decorative painting of an illusion of facade. The only plastic elements are the large springing stones of the gateway and label lining of the four windows that are located in two axes. On the right side of the gateway is a rectangular opening that used to be a modern passage-way. The space above the gateway has an illusory rustic with a different type of corner quoins. There is a rich threaded ornament around the windows and a sun-clock dial between them. Latrán no. 105, Budějovická Gate, vault, view from the direction towards the town The pyramid roof has a massive filler joist and is covered with Spanish tiles. The gateway has a barrel vaulting with a pair of lunette caps on the edges. Both modern passages have a plain ceiling. On the second floor is a living room with a plain ceiling, black kitchen and a space with a stairway leading to the third floor. There is only one room on the third floor, and it has a simple wooden joist ceiling with a lintel decking. The truss is hewed, it has a resting saddle and it was probably constructed during Renaissance (Baroque at the latest).

Architectural and Historical Development:
The Budějovická gate was commissioned by Petr Wok von Rosenberg and built between 1598 and 1602 as the newest of the nine city gates. Benedetto Domenico Cometta z Eckthurnu was the architect. The blueprint for the northern face was a illustration from a book by an Italian architect Sebastian Serlio. The interior of the gate was adapted into residential quarters probably during Classicism. In 1934, a passage-way for pedestrians had been added in connection with expansion of the bridge. It replaced a blind carrel in the eastern face of the gate as well as a stairway leading to the second floor, which had to be built again in Latrán No. 105. In 1938, the tower was damaged as the result of a local Czech-German armed conflict and repaired in 1940. A pedestrian passage-way was also added in the western face in the 1960s in connection with the construction of a beltway and a new bridge in Špičák. In 1965, the building was statically secured and the southern face paintings were restored a year later. The bridge was repaired in 1966, and the extension on the eastern side was removed and the pedestrian passage-way in the gate immured. The carcass of the building underwent renovation a year earlier, plus the Baroque plaster layer on the northern face was uncovered, and paintings and parts of the original colored facades were restored. Investigation has proved that paintings exist also in the gateway.

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Development of facade:

The present gate was built at the turn of 16th and 17th century. It is a two-storey building finished by a chisel-shaped roof. The north facade: two pairs of the rustic-work pilasters finished by the battlement. The vaulted over niches at two levels filled the space among the pilasters. The wall parts were pulled over by a thin rough-smoothen plaster layer and covered with the red-coloured paint.The head ledge was decorated. The painted scheme of the red-coloured rustic-work with decorative window holes framing and sun dial decorated the south facade.The graffito rectangular-shaped design was applied onto the west and east facade. In the Baroque period the north facade was newly plastered with the use of the plastic plaster with a prick surface ochre-coloured paint. The pilasters joints were pointed up by a grey-coloured line.

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They used the red-coloured paint onto the upper part of the facade on the basis of the finding situation. In the Classicism period the gate with the drawbridge were not used for fortification purposes any more, and the tower was adapted as the floor space. All facades were covered with a green-coloured coat of paint, and probably at the turn of 19th and 20th century the grey-coloured paint was used. In 1934 the bridge was widen and the entrance was broken. In 1938 the artillery garnet damaged the gate roof and the tank broke open three stone ashlars of the south facade while getting through the gate. In 1960s the tower was being restored and some paintings on the south facade were uncovered. The north facade was newly plastered without the use of paint. Unfortunately, new plaster layers with the use of too much cement damaged large surfaces. The complete restoration work of the gate, in 1994-1995, partly corrected the wrong steps of technology done on the north facade in 1960s. The Baroque phase was presented on the basis of the finding situation.

Significant Architectural Features:

  • Both main faces including all architectonic elements and paintings
  • Gateway vaulting
  • Intact black kitchen on the second floor
  • Wooden ceiling on the third floor
  • Truss
  • Paintings in the gateway that have not yet been closely investigated.
Latrán no.  104, Budějovická Gate, view from the Český Krumlov town side, foto: Ladislav Pouzar Latrán no.  104, Budějovická Gate, detail, sundial, foto: Ladislav Pouzar

History of the House Residents:

The living quarters of the city constable used to be here.

Wilhelm Fischer, picture of Budějovická Gate in Český Krumlov Stories And Other Interesting Information:
This is one of the most important Renaissance landmarks in town and the only remaining gate. Remarkable is the "double- face" concept of the entirely different sides facing the interior and exterior of the city. Remarkable is also the carcass of the building with several decoration techniques - colored plaster quoins on the brick carcass of the northern face, red sgraffito rustic combined with illusory corner quoins on the tower and the same corner quoins combined with red painted rustic on the southern face, complemented with illusory architectonic decor. The reconstruction work of the 1940s and 1960s destroyed many elements of the elaborate architectonic concept, and the renovation that took place during the 1990s also did not respect all the important facts.