(Embassy of Romania, Nerudova Street)
1713 - 1714, reconstruction; investor Wenceslas Count of Morzin
The Morzin Palace in Ostruhová (today Nerudova) Street, where the Embassy of Romania is situated now, is the result of reconstruction of four architecturally rich Renaissance burgher houses. They were joined into one property first in about 1670, and very soon their construction became also united. But as lately as in 1713 and 1714, the palace's architecture (still with four independent buildings) was integrated, too. Santini's task was really limited just to integration and radical readjustment of facades because no Santini's interferences can be identified in the building interior today. Nevertheless, it is possible that they could had come under subsequent numerous and extensive conversions of the palace interior during the 18th, 19th as well as 20th centuries.
The task was not easy, not only because – much like the opposed Kolowrat Palace – the spacious palace façade faced a relatively narrow and quite steep street of Little Quarter, but also because the street line got turned abruptly and irregularly. Santini removed this considerable handicap using a plain but expressive central buttress, separated from side wings by means of concave-taken-in pilasters creating a sharp edge. The façade itself is just slightly and flatly decorated, but a bulky crown moulding and decorative, accentuated, undulating window sills rise markedly from it. This attribute is undoubtedly related to the fact that the pedestrian can always see the façade from the side view and from a more or less marked bottom view, so that just the markedly rising elements are noted for unexpected potency and expressivity here.
The central buttress into which another, narrower central buttress is inserted once more, is further Santini's favourite motif. It markedly shapes twin lines of the two portals, windows and the balcony. Expressively framed entry to this balcony culminates in the Morzin's emblem. Much like the similar composition on the façade of Counts of Lissau Palace, this unit also developed from the necessity to respect the non-axially situated gateway. Santini recreated this apparent handicap in an excellent way in this case as well - into a sovereign and exceptionally beautiful pyramidal composition, involving, besides the originally shaped architectural forms, also wonderful sculpture decoration by Ferdinand Borokof. Besides the mentioned stone emblem of the investor, this decoration consists above all from a couple of masterly sculpted, bulky statues of Moors with iconographic relation to Morzin's name and emblem, as well as the admirable busts of the night and the day, crowning the extension pieces of both portals.
Furthermore, the Brokof's works of art, a bit likewise pinnacles in Gothic architecture, crown the palace attic. There are allegories of the four seasons above the side wings, and a couple of grandiose vases complement the one floor higher pavilion-like extension piece of the central buttress. Thus, the outline of the palace is also very markedly structured, opened and made special.
As though the Morzin Palace can appear less interesting and beautiful at first sight, compared directly to the imposing Kolowrat Palace, a more detailed reconnaissance unambiguously shows us its artistic and architectural qualities and Santini's genius becomes perhaps even more evident here than in case of the other mentioned palace.