Last updated: 2006-11-27
German Technical University (Deutsche Technische Hoschule) existed in Prague
till 1945, and architect Fritz Lehmann (1889–1957) was engaged there at
the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture from 1920s. Circumstances
at the Faculty are described in the article against his pedagogical career
during 1920s, together with structural changes that began there from 1940s.
Lehmann’s name, however, was nearly forgotten though many significant and well known buildings that he had projected could be seen in Prague, Liberec (Reichenberg), Ústí nad Labem (Aussig a. d. Elbe), and elsewhere. The hotel Esplanade (1928), the palace Riunione Adriatica di Sicurtá (1932) and a courtyard completion of a building now named Slavonic, earlier German House at the Příkopy belong among his most known houses in Prague.
Lehmann’s architectural practice was very profitable in 1930s, and this was a source for envy and rivalry struggles from his colleagues at the University where he was simultaneously and continuously engaged. He stuck to his academic and pedagogic activities so much that he did not mind to face animosities of his many colleagues and authorities that culminated by several denouncements in the period after Munich agreement in 1938. In the end he successfully overcame interrogation by Gestapo, and he defended himself with the substantial help of A. Buntru, then chancellor of the University; nevertheless, his life story well illustrated complexity of relations in the German academic community in Prague.
F. Lehmann left to Austria after the end of war, and worked successfully as a university teacher and architect in Vienna.
One of characteristic features of a considerable number of historical
villages in the Czech lands is regular order of their ground plans. In
these villages, peasant estates are either centred around a green, usually
of oblong shape, or their allotments are arranged into shorter or longer
sections. These were mainly placed on the opposite banks of sources of
water – springs or brooks. The regular ground plans usually are connected
with the peak period of medieval reorganization of the agricultural economy
and of legal relations between authorities and retainers. This change in
the organization of settlements, which involved both the founding of new
villages and the reorganization of older ones, was realized in the Czech
lands from the mid-13th century through the 14th century.
Although the ground plans of medieval villages understandably changed somewhat during following centuries, their medieval disposition was substantially preserved. The plans are easily recognised on the oldest set of exactly measured and sufficiently detailed maps in land registers. The maps were acquired officially for all Czech lands in the first half of the 19th century, mainly during the second quarter of that century. Already in the past, typological, chronological and regional connections concerning the medieval ground plans were researched. Nevertheless, an attempt to recognise the principles of their rational measurement had not yet been made to identify the ground module – the width of allotments – in the measures of that time.
To analyse the measures, a group of ground plans of villages situated near town Rakovník in the Central Bohemia was chosen. The group is distinguished by extraordinarily great, regularly oblong greens, similar to the Rakovník main square. The ground plans of these villages (newly founded or reorganized older villages) is usually supposed, according to historical sources, to have originated in the first half of the 14th century. The research succeeded in discovering the grounding plans (schemes): the unit of measurement was doubtless the so-called Prague ell (i.e. ca 60 cm). The ells were used in bigger multiplies during measuring, with the application usually in ternary or duodecimal multiplies.
After the initial presentation of the research results in 2005, some doubts arose as to whether the analysed structure of ground plans, mediated by rather young maps, really originated in the medieval period. The authors therefore decided to confirm the method of verifying whether the ground plans were of medieval origin by examining medieval villages destroyed shortly after their founding and discovered later by the archaeological research. Three such villages, with evident regular ground plans, were analysed. The analysis came to substantially the same results as in the case of the ground plans of medieval villages mediated by maps in land registers.
The article is devoted to the second developmental period (1811–1946) in the history of the Mining Academy, when the education went in four departments and in the Forestry Institute, and when four excellent educationalists taught there. They worked also in research, and they wrote and published lecture notes and textbooks for their students. For quite a long time Henrik David Wilckens (1763–1832), Jozef Schittko (1776–1933), Ján Nepomuk Lang von Hanstadt (1770–1842), Michal Höring (1767–1820), and Alojz Wehrle (1791–1835) were engaged together there. After H. D. Wilckens’ death R. Feistmantl took over his post at the Forestry Institute. J. N. Lang von Hanstadt was a successor of Professor F. Reichetzer. M. Höring succeeded to the Department of Chemistry, Mineralogy and Metallurgy after the death of M. Patzier in 1811, and after his passing A. Wehrle took over the Department. He rebuilt its chemical laboratory. His premature death in 1835 prevented him from developing his successful educational and research activities.
© M. Barvík 2006