The town of Kętrzyn (until 1946 Rastenburg) was founded by the Teutonic Knights at the Prussian settlement called Rast. Initially there was a wooden watchtower, around which developed a settlement. In 1357 the commander of Bałga Johann Schindekopf granted the settlement civic rights. Shortly thereafter, in the city began construction of the defensive church dedicated to St. George, castle and defense walls.
The Kętrzyn castle was raised in the second half of the 14th century in the south-west corner of the urban battlements. Castle contained a chapel, bakery, kitchen, mill, malt house, brewery, the meat store, grain silos, storage, armory and a powder magazine. The most representative northern wing was occupied by pfleger - prosecutor, official position of the Teutonic Order. After the year of 1525 the castle became the county seat of the Duke of Prussia. In 1910 the castle was taken over by the municipal authorities, Until World War II there was a finance office and housing for authority officials. Initially it had a triangular winged structure, closed on the west side wall with a gate. Numerous of reconstructions over the centuries, adapting the object to perform administrative functions and residential buildings changed the face of the object. In January 1945, the castle was burnt down. During the reconstruction of the castle was restored in the years 1962-1966 the Gothic character of the building. Currently in the Kętrzyn's castle are functioning: the public library and museum by the name of Wojciech Kętrzyński, and as well as with the interesting regional collections.References:
The Erfurt Synagogue was built c. 1094. It is thought to be the oldest synagogue building still standing in Europe. Thanks to the extensive preservation of the original structure, it has a special place in the history of art and architecture and is among the most impressive and highly rated architectural monuments in Erfurt and Thuringia. The synagogue was constructed during the Middle Ages on the via regia, one of the major European trade routes, at the heart of the historical old quarter very close to the Merchants Bridge and the town hall. Many parts of the structure still remain today, including all four thick outer walls, the Romanesque gemel window, the Gothic rose window and the entrance to the synagogue room.
After extensive restoration, the building was reopened in 2009. On display in the exhibition rooms is an collection of medieval treasures discovered during archaeological excavations. This includes 3,140 silver coins, 14 silver ingots, approx. 6,000 works of goldsmithery from the 13th and 14th centuries and an intricately worked wedding ring of the period, of which only two others are known to exist anywhere in the world. A mikveh (Jewish bath) has been excavated close by (13th/14th century). The Old Synagogue, the Small Synagogue and two Jewish cemeteries together form a network of historical buildings and sites which vividly portray the role of Jewish life in the history of Erfurt.