Baroque sculptures returned to the facade of the palace in the center, the work was particularly demanding with the Satyr


Installation of sculptures on top of the Savariin Palace facade. Photo source: EMC / Crestyl

“The reconstruction of the baroque palace by Kilián Ignác Dientzenhofer is the first step in the entire Savarin project, and due to its great historical value, we worked very closely with preservationists here. We had copies of the original baroque sculptures made for the facade, which we carefully restored for several million crowns. Now we’re figuring out where to put the originals so the public can see them in all their glory,” Johnson said.

The sculptures decorating the Savarin Palace were created in 1752 by Ignác František Platzer, who is the main representative of Czech sculpture of the second half of the 18th century. He is the author of a number of sculptures, for example, in Prague Castle, Kinské Palace, Archbishop’s Palace, Prague Church of St. Nicholas, the monastery in Teplá, but also in the park of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.

For the exterior decoration of the palace, Savarin made a total of eleven sculptures – Satyr, Nymph, Swan and decorative vases. These sculptures reach a size of up to two meters and belong to the valuable originals of Czech Baroque art. The statues were dismantled from the Savarin Palace in a state of disrepair six years ago. Seven of them were originals, the other four were already copies created in 1878.

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“Restoring the original and creating new sculptures was a challenge for us, but we like unconventional and complex work. Seven sculptors worked on the copies of the statues, and it was a demanding job in terms of time and the choice of material, so that it would be of high quality and last hundreds of years. The work on each piece lasted from seven months in the case of vases to ten months in the case of copies of statues,” said the stone sculptor Bohumil Pánek, who oversaw the work on the sculptures.

According to him, Satyr in particular was demanding. Just to give an idea, the block of stone it was made of was three meters high, almost a meter wide and deep, and weighed seven tons. In total, approximately fifteen cubic meters of stone weighing around forty tons were used for the replica statues.

The reconstruction and restoration of the historic Savarin Baroque Palace by Kilian Ignác Dientzenhofer has been underway since the end of 2021 and will be completed in the summer. During the reconstruction work, it was possible to uncover a number of valuable details, the repair of which, according to Johnson, was intensively dealt with on an ongoing basis with preservationists. Crestyl invested approximately half a billion crowns in the reconstruction of the palace, which is sometimes referred to as the Sylva-Taroucca Palace.

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Following the restoration of the Savarin Palace, a new part of the project of the same name is being prepared, which is being created under the baton of Thomas Heatherwick’s studio. It has already received a positive opinion from preservationists as part of the ongoing zoning proceedings. The Savarin project, referring to the tradition of Wenceslas passages, will connect Wenceslas Square with Na Příkopě, Jindřiška and Panská streets.

It consists of four connected, yet interconnected separate parts, each of which will have its own character and method of use.

The centerpiece of the entire project is the historic building of the riding school, around which a new quiet square with a garden, cafes and restaurants will be created in the courtyard. Savarin will also include a multi-purpose space designed especially for cultural and social events or a new entrance to the subway. The project also includes a gallery for the placement of the Slavic Epic.

For the newly prepared part of the Savarin project, permitting processes are now running as standard, the project is in the zoning management phase. The completion date is then expected within three years from the start of construction itself, the exact timing depends on the issuance of all necessary permits. Completion of the first phase of the project, represented by the reconstruction of the Savarin Palace itself, is expected in the summer of this year.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Baroque sculptures returned facade palace center work demanding Satyr


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