St. George's Abbey in Isny is a former Benedictine abbey founded in 1096 by the Counts of Altshausen-Veringen. In 1106 the foundation was confirmed by Pope Paschal II. Towards the end of the 12th century a Benedictine nunnery was also established in Isny but this was moved in about 1189 to Rohrdorf.
St. George's Abbey was responsible for the foundation of the town of Isny, which was developed as a market at the end of the 12th century and received municipal status as early as 1235. Both abbey and town enjoyed economic success, abruptly terminated by the plague in 1350, which almost wiped the abbey out.
During the Reformation the town of Isny became Protestant and in 1534 the abbey church was attacked and its sacred images destroyed. The abbey's economic situation only improved — temporarily — in the first third of the 17th century, which was brought to an end by a disastrous fire in 1631. The abbey did not recover until the time of abbot Alfons Torelli (1701–31). It did not become an Imperial abbey until 1781, as member of the Bench of Swabian Prelates.
The abbey was secularised in 1803, at the same time as the town of Isny was mediatised, when both became part of the territory of Count Otto Wilhelm von Quadt-Wykradt.
The first monastic buildings and the Romanesque abbey church burnt down in 1284. Immediately after the fire a hall church was constructed, which was dedicated in 1288. In the relatively brief period of prosperity that occurred in the first third of the 17th century much refurbishment and new building work took place, all of which were destroyed by the catastrophic fire in 1631. In about 1656 Michael Beer built the Baroque Neue Bau ('new building') and also repaired parts of the ruins of the former buildings.
The present abbey church was built by Giulio Barbieri between 1660 and 1666; the onion dome was added in 1709. In 1757-58 Johann Georg Gilt (of the Wessobrunner School of stuccoists) and Johann Michael Holzhey refurbished the church interior in the Rococo style.
After secularisation the monastic buildings served as the castle of the count and family. During the Third Reich it accommmodated the Hitler Youth until 1943. The premises were later used as an old people's home and nursing home.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.