Franz Maximilian Kaňka

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Franz Maxmilian Kaňka

Franz Maximilian Kaňka (Czech: František Maximilian Kaňka ; born August 9, 1674 in Prague ; † July 14, 1766 , ibid) was an architect of the classicist Baroque in Bohemia .


Franz Maximilian's parents were the Prague builder Veit (Czech: Vít) Kaňka (* 1650 in Prague, died 1727 there) and his wife Katharina. Around 1700 he married Ludmilla Rozmiller (1674-1736), with whom he had two daughters and two sons. After Ludmilla's death in 1737 he married Katharina Mala von Tulechov († 1774), who gave birth to a daughter and two sons. Son Johann Nepomuk became a well-known lawyer and composer.

Franz Maximilian's brothers were also artistically active:

  • Andreas (1681–1734) was a painter and gilder
  • Anton (* 1684) was a goldsmith and
  • Johann Wenzel (* 1685) was a builder.


Donaueschingen City Church

Kaňka's training took place in the construction business of his father, Veit Kaňka, in whose studio he worked on designs from a young age. Around 1700 he became self-employed as a builder, primarily for the landed gentry in Bohemia , but also built numerous church buildings in Prague and Bohemia, as well as secular buildings as a rather conservative artist at the height of the Baroque in Bohemia with great importance for Prague palace construction.

On behalf of Landgrave Fürstenberg , he drafted the plans for the town church in Donaueschingen . He realized his building projects according to his own and other people's designs and also worked on joint designs with other builders and the architects Giovanni Battista Alliprandi , Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer , Johann Blasius Santini-Aichl , Matthias Bernhard Braun and Wenzel Lorenz Reiner , with whom he was also friends together.

He received his commissions mainly from the Bohemian nobles, but also from monasteries and other church institutions. In 1708 he entered the service of the Czernin family from and to Chudenitz . The noble families Liechtenstein-Kastelkorn , von Vrtba , Counts von Mansfeld , Trauttmansdorff , Kinsky and Waldstein gave him building contracts.

Kaňka's architecture, which he enriched with decorative accents such as gables, portals and towers, was moderate-conservative. In addition, he should have had a secure feeling for the integration of a building into the given environment.

Together with the painter Michael Wenzel Halbax (also Halwachs and the like) (1661–1711) and the sculptor Franz Preiss (* around 1660, died in Prague in 1712), he made the unsuccessful attempt in 1709 to found an art academy in Prague. Emperor Charles VI. appointed him court architect in 1724. The then "German Society for Science, Art and Literature" in Prague named the "Kanka Foundation" after him.

Works (selection)

In Prague

Astronomical Tower of the Clementinum

In Bohemia

Johannes von Nepomuk Chapel in Kuttenberg

Outside of Bohemia


Web links

Commons : František Maxmilián Kaňka  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files