The Great Country Houses of the Czech Republic and Slovakia Hardcover – Jan 2 2008
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"Impeccably designed and lavishly illustrated, this volume allows us to wander into a part of the European heartland hitherto closed off to all but the most adventurous....Trumler's photographs of these national treasures unfailingly surprise and satisfy. Highly recommended as a visual delight and an unusual introduction to a newly opened region."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The strength of the book is its story-telling. There are some exterior photos of the places discussed and a limited number showing interior rooms and leave a lot to be desired. I had hoped for a lot of interior photos because most of these places still do not allow photography without special permission. So I will have to be satisfied with the souvenir photos I was able to acquire and those I was allowed to take.
Because the Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo architectural styles came late to this area, there are some unique looks to these buildings. Sometimes it is on the exterior but primarily the interiors with their marquetry, elaborate ceilings, and mixture of styles for different eras that really take your breath away. If you are impressed with the interior photos from Cesky Krumlov, Hluboka, Lednice, or Dobris you have barely started- there are even better rooms.
If you have not traveled outside of Prague, this book will definitely make you want to go. One thing this book will do is to help you understand this region's fascinating history that is virtually unknown to Americans. At the time of this review, the book sold for 10-$15 and you can't buy the full page color photos for that.
Update 10/2015: This book is a reprint of the first 140 pages of The Great Country Houses of Central Europe. I give its text 5 stars without hesitation. My interest was not on Hungary and Poland and that is why I opted to purchase this version. My personal photos are much better but the text and large photos were a bargain at $0.63.
1. Krásná Horka
3. Cesky Sternberk
A comprehensive analysis of where politics, culture, and art merge, The Great Country Houses of the Czech Republic and Slovakia is a captivating read for anyone curious about the history and architecture of these two countries. Gerhard Trumler’s striking photographs allow readers entrance, for example, to the Liechtensteins’ twin chateaux of Valtice and Lednice in the Czech Republic. The lords of these castles established one of the greatest art collections in the world and played a major role in the diplomatic and military lives of the nation; they still remain as the ruling house of the Principality of Liechtenstein. Pratt’s new chapter speaks of the difficulties of restoration and problems concerning modern-day ownership. Though many estates were lost or damaged during the World Wars, the houses as they stand today—some restored, some languishing in disrepair—present a rich cultural heritage of two fascinating countries.
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