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Wortner's town house

U Černé věže 343/22
České Budějovice, 370 01

Rare type of late Gothic burgher house, better known from the Danube area, with a battlement, protruding first floor, crest vaulting, and beamed ceilings. Houses an art gallery.
 
 

A very well-preserved Gothic-and-Renaissance house, a highly valuable example of a historic burgher house, which represents original architecture in the U Černé věže Street. During the 16th century, burgher houses were remodelled to better suit the growing requirements of Renaissance burghers for convenient housing and representation. Wortner’s house is an example of the combination of these requirements.

A two-storey house, with the  first floor protruding on stone cantilevers and featuring an attic with battlements and round turrets on the corners with ornamental embrasures. The attic hides lean-to roofs. The use of an attic on a house is a prominent element of Renaissance architecture creating the illusion of another non-existent floor and often hiding the roof. The oldest attics, like that on Wortner’s house, document a surviving strong Gothic influence. The house is entered through a large pointed arch portal. The vast space on the ground floor is barrel vaulted, with an ornamental crest band, the next room has two aisles with groined crest vaulting on two rectangular pillars. The vault of the first-floor hall is ornamented with rosettes and a sun with a facial mask. A wooden joist ceiling is partly preserved in the large room facing the street. Three windows are in vaulted niches. The rear house, added during the Baroque period, had a room with a wooden beamed ceiling, and was used for passage to the backyard section. A cellar with a vault on two pillars is situated below the house.

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