master builder

Family of masterbuilders of the German Late Gothic Period

Heinrich Parler, father of the masterbuilder family, presumably came from Cologne. It was him who built the Minster of the Holy Cross in Schwäbisch Gmünd, which is considered to be the initial building of the Late Gothic period in Central Europe. He was born around 1300 and died around 1370 in Gmünd. Due to reputation of the Parler family the masterbuilders step out of anonymity.

The main character of the family ix doubtlessly Peter (born in 1330 or 1333 in Gmünd, died 13th July 1399 in Prague) who may have served a part of his apprenticeship in England England: His name is connected with Nuremberg because of the new building of Our Lady´s Church (Frauenkirche), by whose building he might have qualified for the post as cathedral masterbuilder in Prague. Both buildings were commissioned by Emperor Charles IV of Luxemburg.

With its cubic construction volume Our Lady´s Church (Frauenkirche) leads the way to the development of the German Late Gothic period, moreover, it displays a number of original features. The choir of St. Sebaldus-Church and the Beautiful fountain are also connected with the circle of the members of the Parler family. From 1336 Peter Parler oversaw the continued construction of St. Vitus`s cathedral in Prague, turning over a completely new leaf in architectural history by introducing revolutionary innovations here. This was like a general overhaul and challenge of the French Gothic.

Period: 14th c.