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(in Czech, Parléř). A family of architects and sculptors who lived in the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century. The family had a southern German and a Czech branch.

Members of the southern German branch who created outstanding examples of late Gothic (Sondergotik) architecture follow.

Heinrich Parler (I). Born circa 1300–10, possibly in Cologne. He built the Kreuzkirche in Schwäbisch-Gmünd (beginning in 1351), which became the prototype for southern German hall churches of the 14th and 15th centuries.

Johann Parler. From Schwäbisch-Gmünd. He supervised the construction of the new choir of the cathedral in Freiburg beginning in 1354.

Heinrich Parler (II). From Ulm. Circa 1377–83 he supervised the construction of the choir in the cathedral in Ulm with Michael Parler (II) and Heinrich Parler (III).

Michael Parler (III). He directed the construction of the cathedral in Strasbourg, beginning in 1383.

The most prominent member of the Czech branch of the family was Peter Parler.

Peter Parler. Born 1330 in Schwäbisch-Gmünd; died July 13, 1399, in Prague. Architect and sculptor. He supervised the construction in Prague of the cathedral of St. Vitus—which was continued by his sons Václav (Wenceslaus) and Jan—and of the Charles Bridge (1357–78), which has towers at each end. He also built the choir of the church of St. Bartholomew in Kolin (1360–78). His most outstanding sculptural works are the stone gravestones of Přemysl Otakar I (1377) and Přemysl Otakar II [1377(?)], both in the cathedral of St. Vitus in Prague, and his stone portrait busts (1374–85, with other masters), which are in the triforium of the cathedral of St. Vitus. The portrait busts are extremely expressive and reflect Parler’s keen powers of observation. The work of Peter Parler marked the height of Gothic art in Bohemia.


Reinhold, H. Der Chor des Münsters zu Freiburg und die Baukunst der Parlerfamilie. Strasbourg, 1929.
Swoboda, K. M. Peter Parler: Der Baukünstler und Bildhauer [3rd ed.]. Vienna, 1942.
Bachmann, E. Peter Parler. Kitzingen/Main [1952].
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