National Institute for the Protection and Conservation of Monuments and Sites

Dagmar Michoinová


The National Institute for the Protection and Conservation of Monuments and Sites

Valdštejnské nám. 3. 118 01 Praha 1, Czech Republic

www.npu.cz

2008 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award

Conservation of the Southern Faccedil;ade of Horniacute; hrad of the Českyacute; Krumlov State Castle

The project establishes new approach and new standards for monument care. It transfers conservation ethics and methodology previously only used in the field of works of art, to the scale of a whole faccedil;ade and even to that of an urban landscape in which the faccedil;ade is a highly important element.

The project of a conservation of the time-honoured historical Southern faccedil;ade of Horniacute; hrad of Českyacute; Krumlov State Castle were done with the objective to safeguard its architectural as well as material authenticity. The interdisciplinary team of experts tried to retain the picture of the panorama of the Castle together with its original parts as they were layered there during many centuries. It is necessary to stress that the largest share of the picture of the faccedil;ade with full impressiveness of originality, diversity and noble ageing is given by ancient renders that have been necessary to respect within the largest extent during the conservation process.
The conservation of the southern faccedil;ade of Horniacute; hrad was accomplished in 2003 - 2004; in 2008 the conservation was awarded one of the three Prizes of The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2008 in Category 1 - Conservation.

The faccedil;ade before the conservation showed high authenticity quite unique today. That was due to the facts that the whole Southern faccedil;ade has never in its long history passed overall architectural manner unification and that's why the faccedil;ade shows distinctly typical signs of grown architecture - of the gradually increasing and transformed organism from the 14th century till the middle of the 18th century. The traces of the period adaptations and additions were presented on the faccedil;ade before conservation with clear legibility till the present time. The next reason of rare material and architectural authenticity was because the faccedil;ade was not affected by those destroying interventions that in the recent fifty years have often accompanied and unfortunately, also at present accompany the category of the overall renovations without either respect to time-honoured feature of architectural monument or adequate extent and ethics of historical building materials protection.
The demand for appreciation adequate protection and conservation to the architectural monuments analogous the works of art is given to (from the viewpoint of the approach, methodology and the quality of protection). Architecture is art and architecture as well as works of art should enjoy the nature of monument. The conservation of architecture should be related as to historical as to aesthetical feature of architecture monument.
The demand for strict ethics in architectural monuments conservation is embodied in the principles of contemporary conservation charters and is supported by professional liability for architectural monuments. The authentic faccedil;ade of Horniacute; hrad in Českyacute; Krumlov and its materials have exceptional documentary, historical, aesthetical, emotive value. Protection of the rarely authentic substance and retention of the values without attenuation was the prime requisite and prime objective of the project.

Result of Conservation Intervention

The stabilization of the fabric and appearance of the southern prospect of the castle of Českyacute; Krumlov has preserved, with all nuances, the highly authentic part of an extraordinarily valuable monument, its genuineness and infinite telling ability. The extremely impressive, imposing picture of the dominant of Českyacute; Krumlov that survived whole ages without detriment and, especially, the critical 20th century, with its inconsiderate restorations, remained preserved also for the next decades of the 21st century - with all attributes of uniqueness of a highly authentic monument.

The preserved structural, typological and colour characteristic of historic renders, with all non-typical visual signs and more or less obvious signs of gradual style transformations in the aged condition was untouchable. It has to be stressed that in connection with renders consolidation by lime water original materials were left within the preserved extent and also appearance, including respecting local abrasion of the surface, complicated fragmental stratigraphy of the original presentation surface treatments and, of course, including the natural and nobly impressing patina.
The historical building materials continue to be, also for the future, an unchanging and, therefore, completely authentic substance of the picture of the exceptional monument. The changes were always related only to those parts where the original mass has not been preserved any more or it was completely inevitable, from the technological point of view, to perform a local repair intervention.

The largest change in the overall picture of the castle panorama may be observed in the bottom parts of the wall of the faccedil;ade, especially then in the eastern part. After the removal of the cement render in those parts, following up with the condition of the original renders in the immediate surroundings, new adjustment was performed. In the upper part of those sections it was the completion of the renders, in the bottom sections and on the counterforts the stabilization with strong interlards or rough re-jointing of stonework. If, in the case of solving a partial, minor repair intervention in the surface of ancient, naturally aged historic renders it is logical necessity to suppress by retouching the corrective intervention and adapt the surface of the new material not to the original, fresh variety of colours of the period of origin, but to the colours and tonality of the already aged material, also the approach to solving larger additions must be identical. The use of traditional technologies and material simplifies maintenance and re-conservation for the future (maintenance of material compatibility and reversibility).
By cultivated processing of new materials and their mutually connected, and sufficiently structured, colourfully live conception in the form of large-scale retouching - strengthened significantly were, undoubtedly, the continuous nature of the overall picture and its monumentality because again the organic connection of the faccedil;ade into one whole was performed and the surface of the faccedil;ade was connected naturally to the split rocky formation base. A favourable aspect of the adjustment is the elimination of hard lines of the horizontal boundary at the places where the cement render ended. In the overall view obvious local destructions are not shown markedly any more, because the places with decomposing bare brickwork were covered on the oriels or on the surfaces of the faccedil;ade. Slightly dampened optically were the visual signs of tens of hundreds of minor defects (partial repairs of the renders at the place of fall-off of the material and mechanical interventions, puttying of cracks, where atmospheric water leaking in threatened), as well as the negative consequences were suppressed of the inaccessibility of the faccedil;ade for common maintenance repairs, e.g., by the removal of the massive pollution by bird droppings in some places, etc.
The optical "solidification" of the overall expression of the faccedil;ade was also influenced by the conservation of the stone elements, profiled window portals and fine stressing of some of the strongly damaged render mounts evident after the performance of conservation repair. Contributing to the stabilization and credibility of appearance was also the revision of the roofing of oriels, escarpment or lug sills in the eastern part of the faccedil;ade in connection with the renewal of their coverage by burnt tiles or hollow tiles. Not a minor role for visual "calming down" of the picture of the monumental faccedil;ade was also played by the repair of the window panes and metal elements and the completion of the missing window blinds leafs in the respected original green variety of colours on the top floor.
The completed conservation of the southern faccedil;ade of Horniacute; hrad of Českyacute; Krumlov represents one of the most extensive conservation interventions in the territory of the Czech Republic and provided important experience for further rescue works in the area of the Českyacute; Krumlov state castle, especially, for the conservation of the monumental cover of the northern faccedil;ade of Horniacute; hrad that is under process at present.
The experience from the application of the used traditional conservation method and from the selected technique and organization of the large-scale conservation intervention were made use of subsequently in the rescue and conservation of other significant monuments.
The immediate contact with the unaffected faccedil;ade has brought a lot of revealing and remarkable information; the completion of explorations enabled the deepening of the knowledge of the monument and making clear of a number of so far unknown chapters of its development. Important knowledge has been gained not only about the building development of Horniacute; hrad, and also of the details of the technique and technology of gradual building activity in the course of 500 years.

Results of the intervention and the The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2008 in Category 1 - Conservation have been presented on the international and nationals conferences and have been published in professional journals.

The project establishes new approach and new standards for monument care. It transfers conservation ethics and methodology previously only used in the field of works of art, to the scale of a whole faccedil;ade and even to that of an urban landscape in which the faccedil;ade is a highly important element.

The project of a conservation of the time-honoured historical Southern faccedil;ade of Horniacute; hrad of Českyacute; Krumlov State Castle were done with the objective to safeguard its architectural as well as material authenticity. The interdisciplinary team of experts tried to retain the picture of the panorama of the Castle together with its original parts as they were layered there during many centuries. It is necessary to stress that the largest share of the picture of the faccedil;ade with full impressiveness of originality, diversity and noble ageing is given by ancient renders that have been necessary to respect within the largest extent during the conservation process.
The conservation of the southern faccedil;ade of Horniacute; hrad was accomplished in 2003 - 2004; in 2008 the conservation was awarded one of the three Prizes of The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2008 in Category 1 - Conservation.

The faccedil;ade before the conservation showed high authenticity quite unique today. That was due to the facts that the whole Southern faccedil;ade has never in its long history passed overall architectural manner unification and that's why the faccedil;ade shows distinctly typical signs of grown architecture - of the gradually increasing and transformed organism from the 14th century till the middle of the 18th century. The traces of the period adaptations and additions were presented on the faccedil;ade before conservation with clear legibility till the present time. The next reason of rare material and architectural authenticity was because the faccedil;ade was not affected by those destroying interventions that in the recent fifty years have often accompanied and unfortunately, also at present accompany the category of the overall renovations without either respect to time-honoured feature of architectural monument or adequate extent and ethics of historical building materials protection.
The demand for appreciation adequate protection and conservation to the architectural monuments analogous the works of art is given to (from the viewpoint of the approach, methodology and the quality of protection). Architecture is art and architecture as well as works of art should enjoy the nature of monument. The conservation of architecture should be related as to historical as to aesthetical feature of architecture monument.
The demand for strict ethics in architectural monuments conservation is embodied in the principles of contemporary conservation charters and is supported by professional liability for architectural monuments. The authentic faccedil;ade of Horniacute; hrad in Českyacute; Krumlov and its materials have exceptional documentary, historical, aesthetical, emotive value. Protection of the rarely authentic substance and retention of the values without attenuation was the prime requisite and prime objective of the project.

Result of Conservation Intervention

The stabilization of the fabric and appearance of the southern prospect of the castle of Českyacute; Krumlov has preserved, with all nuances, the highly authentic part of an extraordinarily valuable monument, its genuineness and infinite telling ability. The extremely impressive, imposing picture of the dominant of Českyacute; Krumlov that survived whole ages without detriment and, especially, the critical 20th century, with its inconsiderate restorations, remained preserved also for the next decades of the 21st century - with all attributes of uniqueness of a highly authentic monument.

The preserved structural, typological and colour characteristic of historic renders, with all non-typical visual signs and more or less obvious signs of gradual style transformations in the aged condition was untouchable. It has to be stressed that in connection with renders consolidation by lime water original materials were left within the preserved extent and also appearance, including respecting local abrasion of the surface, complicated fragmental stratigraphy of the original presentation surface treatments and, of course, including the natural and nobly impressing patina.
The historical building materials continue to be, also for the future, an unchanging and, therefore, completely authentic substance of the picture of the exceptional monument. The changes were always related only to those parts where the original mass has not been preserved any more or it was completely inevitable, from the technological point of view, to perform a local repair intervention.

The largest change in the overall picture of the castle panorama may be observed in the bottom parts of the wall of the faccedil;ade, especially then in the eastern part. After the removal of the cement render in those parts, following up with the condition of the original renders in the immediate surroundings, new adjustment was performed. In the upper part of those sections it was the completion of the renders, in the bottom sections and on the counterforts the stabilization with strong interlards or rough re-jointing of stonework. If, in the case of solving a partial, minor repair intervention in the surface of ancient, naturally aged historic renders it is logical necessity to suppress by retouching the corrective intervention and adapt the surface of the new material not to the original, fresh variety of colours of the period of origin, but to the colours and tonality of the already aged material, also the approach to solving larger additions must be identical. The use of traditional technologies and material simplifies maintenance and re-conservation for the future (maintenance of material compatibility and reversibility).
By cultivated processing of new materials and their mutually connected, and sufficiently structured, colourfully live conception in the form of large-scale retouching - strengthened significantly were, undoubtedly, the continuous nature of the overall picture and its monumentality because again the organic connection of the faccedil;ade into one whole was performed and the surface of the faccedil;ade was connected naturally to the split rocky formation base. A favourable aspect of the adjustment is the elimination of hard lines of the horizontal boundary at the places where the cement render ended. In the overall view obvious local destructions are not shown markedly any more, because the places with decomposing bare brickwork were covered on the oriels or on the surfaces of the faccedil;ade. Slightly dampened optically were the visual signs of tens of hundreds of minor defects (partial repairs of the renders at the place of fall-off of the material and mechanical interventions, puttying of cracks, where atmospheric water leaking in threatened), as well as the negative consequences were suppressed of the inaccessibility of the faccedil;ade for common maintenance repairs, e.g., by the removal of the massive pollution by bird droppings in some places, etc.
The optical "solidification" of the overall expression of the faccedil;ade was also influenced by the conservation of the stone elements, profiled window portals and fine stressing of some of the strongly damaged render mounts evident after the performance of conservation repair. Contributing to the stabilization and credibility of appearance was also the revision of the roofing of oriels, escarpment or lug sills in the eastern part of the faccedil;ade in connection with the renewal of their coverage by burnt tiles or hollow tiles. Not a minor role for visual "calming down" of the picture of the monumental faccedil;ade was also played by the repair of the window panes and metal elements and the completion of the missing window blinds leafs in the respected original green variety of colours on the top floor.
The completed conservation of the southern faccedil;ade of Horniacute; hrad of Českyacute; Krumlov represents one of the most extensive conservation interventions in the territory of the Czech Republic and provided important experience for further rescue works in the area of the Českyacute; Krumlov state castle, especially, for the conservation of the monumental cover of the northern faccedil;ade of Horniacute; hrad that is under process at present.
The experience from the application of the used traditional conservation method and from the selected technique and organization of the large-scale conservation intervention were made use of subsequently in the rescue and conservation of other significant monuments.
The immediate contact with the unaffected faccedil;ade has brought a lot of revealing and remarkable information; the completion of explorations enabled the deepening of the knowledge of the monument and making clear of a number of so far unknown chapters of its development. Important knowledge has been gained not only about the building development of Horniacute; hrad, and also of the details of the technique and technology of gradual building activity in the course of 500 years.

Results of the intervention and the The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2008 in Category 1 - Conservation have been presented on the international and nationals conferences and have been published in professional journals.