Niederalfingen Castle, also called the Marienburg, is a spur castle on a rocky hill spur above the Kocher valley. The castle was built around 1050 as a Hohenstaufen fortification to guard the important local trade routes. After 1300, it went into the possession of the Lord of Seckendorf, in 1368 to Count Eberhard the Jarrer of Württemberg, in 1415 to the Lord of House of Hürnheim and in 1551 the now mighty castle was acquired by the Fugger family from Augsburg, by whom it was converted and expanded between 1575 and 1577.
In 1838, the castle came into the ownership of the Kingdom of Württemberg. It eventually passed to the state and, since 1966, has been used as an educational and recreational facility. From 1993 to 2000 comprehensive renovations were carried out.
The castle is used today as a youth training centre, recreational facility and rural school hall of residence (Schullandheim). The former advocate's buildings under the castle walls now house the local history museum for the parish of Hüttlingen.
The site, which developed from a zwinger castle with a gateway, has an inner bailey with connecting wings, an outer bailey and substantial enceinte walls. It also has a prominent 30-metre-high bergfried, with a copper tower, an area of 9.8 × 9.8 metres and wall thickness of 3.2 metres, which is square below and hexagonal above, furnished with embrasures. The castle chapel was dedicated to St Mary, St. Barbara and St. Catharine. The feudal castle is and example of the Romanticism of the 16th century.References:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.