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Old Army Barracks

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Category: Significant Public Buildings

Address: Kasární náměstí

 
 
 

Army Barracks

Another Classicist building was built between the years 1835 and 1839 below the Church of Saint Nicholas on the grounds of the secularized Jesuit college, abandoned since 1773. The majestic structure of the barracks designed by J. Fischer suffered severe damage during World War II and had to be demolished. The open complex in the shape of a horseshoe with a middle section spread along the entire length of the parish church. As the four-floor structure reached the height of the church windows, it deprived the medieval tabernacle with its low walls of its paramount position. The facade was plain on all sides. It was articulated horizontally with the aid of a ledge and a ribbon-shaped pattern. The ground floor facade oriented to Kasární Square was accentuated by a low lintel arch rustically projecting from the brickwork. V. Prökl complained that, from the basement up to the attic, the structure was built in conflict with all contemporary construction standards and therefore, it was damp from the very beginning.

It seems that the building of the barracks was embedded deeply into the steep slope below the Church of Saint Nicholas because the Way of the Cross from the Church of Saint Jodocus led through the site, as well as a long Baroque stairway built in 1677. At present, the church square is enclosed by a vertical support wall above the barracks and the old Baroque stairway thus had to be replaced. With its contrary elliptical ground plan, the new stairway follows the original Baroque scheme. However, due to its extraordinary steepness, neo-organic balustrade, and the tall, bare and vertical inner wall, the stairway seems rather stiff, almost tectonic. Fortunately, five Late Baroque statues of saints, which allegedly come from the old Jesuit college and a Baroque bridge connecting Mostní brána (Bridge Gate), add a peculiar charm to the stairway. It is likely, though, that the statues were installed on stairway at a later time. On an old picture of the Church of Saint Nicholas from 1864, the statues may be seen by the south cemetery wall, and on a drawing made Josef Kritzler in 1870, the stairway appears to have no statues at all. The statues were probably relocated after the reconstruction of the Church of Saint Nicholas carried out between 1890 and 1894.

Since the barracks covered only the south section of the former Jesuit college, a large vacant lot was created in the direction of Smetanova Street when the tall monastery wall had been pulled down. Today, following the demolition of the barracks and the construction of monotonous prefab houses on the east side, the vacant space opens in front of the currently partially levelled bank, on which the Church of Saint Nicholas is standing as though on an artificial pedestal.

(Kunst 1992, 186)

 

The building no longer exists.

 

Contact Information

Address: Kasární náměstí

 

Pictures

Old army barracks. Town model, 1850

Old army barracks. Town model, 1850

Old army barracks. North-west view. Lithography by Schiwansky, 1885

Old army barracks. North-west view. Lithography by Schiwansky, 1885

 

 
Old army barracks. Ground plan and layout plan. V. Prökl around 1850

Old army barracks. Ground plan and layout plan. V. Prökl around 1850

Old army barracks. Construction design. Around 1835

Old army barracks. Construction design. Around 1835

Old army barracks. Construction design. Around 1835

Old army barracks. Construction design. Around 1835

 
 
 
Interactive Encyclopaedia of the Town of Cheb

Interactive Encyclopaedia of the Town of Cheb
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