Petr Parléř (Peter Parler)

*1332 or 1333 (Köln am Rhein or Gmünd), †1399 (Prague)

Architect, builder, sculptor and wood-carver, member of a big artistic family, exceptional personality of European Gothic art. In 1356 Charles IV called him to Prague to overtake the construction of the most significant Prague church – St.Vitus Cathedral – after Matthias of Arras. Peter changed the project of the cathedral and built a choir which joined the St.Wenceslas Chapel, sacristy and tower by cross vaulting. In the Prague Castle area he projected and built the chapel of All Saints, he rebuilt a lot of Prague houses, palaces and churches, elsewhere in the country he built the altar of St.Bartholomew Church in Kolín, designed St.Barbara Cathedral in Kutná Hora and he is said to have worked on the Karlštejn castle too. He introduced a lot of new construction elements (e.g. high bolt) and principles (e.g. net vault). He was an excellent sculptor – he carved tombstones of Přemysl Otakar I and Přemysl Otakar II and busts in Triforium of St.Vitus Cathedral including his own portrait, for St.Wenceslas Chapel he created the sculpture of St.Wenceslas. Parléř´s workshop in which he employed his brothers, sons and nephews was from 1360´s or 1370´s in charge of the construction of the Charles Bridge , including the Old Town Bridge Tower. Peter died three years before the bridge was completed. His workshop vanished during the Hussite wars.


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