WELSCH, Maximilian von
(b. 1671, Kronach, d. 1745, Mainz)


German architect. He is regarded as a prominent representative of Baroque fortress building in the Holy Roman Empire. Besides this he got reputation with the construction of several palaces.

He studied construction during his early education journeys mainly to European capitals such as Vienna, Rome and Paris. There he studied the buildings of Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Francesco Borromini and François Mansart.

Since 1695 he was in imperial military service and as a military engineer responsible for the construction of fortresses. In 1704 the Archbishop of Mainz Lothar Franz von Schönborn employed Welsch for the upgrading and extension of the fortress Mainz. In Mainz he was not only responsible for the construction of the fortress, but Archbishop assigned him also with the architectural design of his summer residence

As the renowned architect was appointed High Director of Building of the prince-elector of Mainz and of Bamberg (until 1729), he was responsible for quite a lot of palace extensions and new constructions. Together with Johann Dientzenhofer he took part in the construction of Schloss Weissenstein in Pommersfelden, since 1711, as well as in the construction of the central block of Biebrich palace. At the Würzburg Residence and the Fulda Orangerie Welsch was working as a consultant at least.

From the 1720s Maximilian von Welsch had been displaced more and more by the ambitious Balthasar Neumann, the most renowned Baroque architect of Germany at that time. Already planned projects had been taken over by Neumann, but these were executed only with strong modifications or totally redesigned, like the Rococo pilgrimage church Vierzehnheiligen.