Construction of the Fort Friedrichsburg or Feste Friedrichsburg began in 1657 during the Second Northern War by the order of Frederick William of Brandenburg-Prussia. The only remnant of the former fort is the Friedrichsburg Gate. The fort was built in place of a tollhouse on the southern shore of the Pregel River at the western edge of Königsberg. It was included within the new ring of Königsberg fortifications constructed from 1626–34. Districts neighboring the fort were Vorstadt to the east, Nasser Garten to the southwest outside of the city walls, and Lastadie to the north across the river. Construction of the fort was resented by the constituent towns of Königsberg, especially Kneiphof.
Friedrichsburg was designed by Christian Otter, court mathematician and Albertina professor. Friedrichsburg's position allowed its cannons to defend the city from the west, monitor incoming traffic from the Frisches Haff, and suppress civil uprising. The fort originally consisted of earthwork, bricks, and ditches. The square-shaped structure included four bastions, nicknamed Smaragd, Perle, Rubin, and Diamant.
Initially only the northeastern bastion contained a cavalier and ravelin. Later additions included ravelins along the western and southern fronts, a cavalier along the southwestern bastion, and a covered way along the counterscarp. These additions were possibly completed during the occupation of Königsberg by the Imperial Russian Army in the Seven Years' War (1758–62). The additions were not visible on Valerianus Müller's plan from 1815.
The interior of the fort contained a command building, lodging, supplies, and prisons. It had a small permanent garrison of about 150 men, but could host a stronger force if need be. A small church, constructed in 1671, served as the garrison church until 1816. An armory was completed in 1796, but dismantled in 1892.
Peter I of Russia studied the fort in 1697 while touring Europe. The fort was used as a state and military prison until 1825; Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg was imprisoned there for insubordination from 1780–81. The Friedrichsburg Gate was completed during the reign of King Frederick William IV of Prussia. The fort was remodeled in 1852 during the reign of King Frederick William IV of Prussia, with construction of the stately Friedrichsburg Gate, new walls, and expansion of the citadel with four round towers. By the end of the 19th century, however, the fort was used only for military storage.
To allow construction of new tracks for Königsberg's goods station, Friedrichsburg was sold to the Prussian Eastern Railway on 23 August 1910 and subsequently dismantled. Segelclub RHE moved from Friedrichsburg to Contienen in 1914.
The site was used for storage and automobile exhibitions after the change of German Königsberg to Russian Kaliningrad resulting from World War II. It is being restored during the 2010s and is part of the Museum of the World's Oceans.References:
The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.
The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.
Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.
The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.
Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.
The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.
During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.
In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.