The Baroque era

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10. The Baroque era

Towards the end of the 17th century Germans and Czechs suffered equally under the economic plight brought about by the long war. Language and culture had run aground. Only the nobility was willing and able to advance a limited circle to higher educational levels, just enough to retain or elevate their own splendor. Baroque architecture and lifestyle began its bloom at the royal courts and set the stage for the intellectual awakening in the second half of the 18th century. Splendor and misery of this age lay next to each other: Monumental achievements in architecture, painting and horticulture on one side, subservience and forced serfdom of peasants and the miserable life of the burghers on the other. Germans, Czechs, Italians, Frenchmen and people from other European countries stood in the service of the Bohemian gentry in monasteries and towns as architects, painters and plasterers. For a last time, the Baroque period achieved a union of Europe on the basis of an international aristocratic nobility and well educated middle class. The old and the new Bohemian nobility (e.g. Schwarzenberg, Kinsky, Clam, Gallas…) had gained European character through their familial and commercial connections. They hold indubitable places in the history of the Sudetenlands as ministers, diplomats, generals, bishops, patrons, builders and landowners. The nobility still played an important role at that time. The face of the land was transformed during those decades and retained the acquired Baroque features all along into the present. The palaces, town-mansions, the monumental churches and town halls, the parish and deanery churches, the Trinity and Plague columns, the Nepomuk statues on the bridges - all of that was accomplished in the two life spans following the dreadful 30-year war. This post-war period gave Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia a relatively undisturbed time to toil peacefully.


Copyright © by Inge Schwarz 1997 (Heimatstelle Maffersdorf) 
Copyright © by Anton Möller • 2005

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MAFFERSDORF - Marktgemeinde im Landkreis Reichenberg - SUDETENLAND