The exact building year of Stahleck castle is not known, but it has been proved that the castle was already occupied since the year 1095. It's first mentioned in documents in the year 1135 under Goswin von Hochstadt. Until 1148 almost 10 years of fight followed for the rights of the Stahleck.
In the year 1156, after the death of Hermann of Stahleck, his stepbrother Konrad von Hohenstaufen became count palatine of Bacharach on the Rhine river. The town of Bacharach, which is situated on the castle mountain, became center and residence of the originating palatine territory on the Rhine river. Castle Stahleck, which was originally the most farthest southern situated property of the Cologne bishops, was assigned from the emporer Barbarossa to his brother Konrad in the year 1190.
In the Thirty Years' War, in year 1644, as the Catholic party banished the French out of the town with 250 cavalries and 450 Cologne foot soldiers, these fled into the castle Stahleck. Colonel of Nievernheimb, commander on the fortress Ehrenbreitstein, let the castle Stahleck near Bacharach at the Rhine river thereupon be fired at without occupying it. Th restoration was made in 1666 by the elector count palatine Carl Ludwig.
Between January and May 1689 the Stahleck castle was exploded by the french troops from Ludwig XIV. 237 years it was in a ruins, until the crown prince of Preußen bought the area in 1828. Rhine river society accomplished restoration work in 1909 and 1910.
Starting at the end of 1965 until May 20, 1967, the youth hostel was further constructed on the castle Stahleck. Thereby the in the substructure still original roman Bergfried of the castle Stahleck with abated wall strength was newly roofed and furnished with new walls. Today it expresses the picture of a medieval castle with different construction phases and is one of the most well-known youth hostels.References:
The Church of Our Lady before Týn is a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague and has been the main church of this part of the city since the 14th century. The church's towers are 80 m high and topped by four small spires.
In the 11th century, this area was occupied by a Romanesque church, which was built there for foreign merchants coming to the nearby Týn Courtyard. Later it was replaced by an early Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn in 1256. Construction of the present church began in the 14th century in the late Gothic style under the influence of Matthias of Arras and later Peter Parler. By the beginning of the 15th century, construction was almost complete; only the towers, the gable and roof were missing. The church was controlled by Hussites for two centuries, including John of Rokycan, future archbishop of Prague, who became the church's vicar in 1427. The roof was completed in the 1450s, while the gable and northern tower were completed shortly thereafter during the reign of George of Poděbrady (1453–1471). His sculpture was placed on the gable, below a huge golden chalice, the symbol of the Hussites. The southern tower was not completed until 1511, under architect Matěj Rejsek.
After the lost Battle of White Mountain (1620) began the era of harsh recatholicisation (part of the Counter-Reformation). Consequently, the sculptures of 'heretic king' George of Poděbrady and the chalice were removed in 1626 and replaced by a sculpture of the Virgin Mary, with a giant halo made from by melting down the chalice. In 1679 the church was struck by lightning, and the subsequent fire heavily damaged the old vault, which was later replaced by a lower baroque vault.
Renovation works carried out in 1876–1895 were later reversed during extensive exterior renovation works in the years 1973–1995. Interior renovation is still in progress.
The northern portal is a wonderful example of Gothic sculpture from the Parler workshop, with a relief depicting the Crucifixion. The main entrance is located on the church's western face, through a narrow passage between the houses in front of the church.
The early baroque altarpiece has paintings by Karel Škréta from around 1649. The oldest pipe organ in Prague stands inside this church. The organ was built in 1673 by Heinrich Mundt and is one of the most representative 17th-century organs in Europe.