Untersulmetingen Castle is a small castle-like renaissance structure located on a slow slope of a terminal moraine to the west of the river Riß. It is a plain, three-storey building, covered by a large gabled roof which dates from around 1600. The castles' chapel, which dates from 1608 and was dedicated to Saint Othmar, is decorated by paintings and stucco whose function it is to amalgamate the encompassed forms of the windows and paintings into a moving form.
A medieval castle was built around 1400. In March 1525 this castle was looted and burnt down by the Baltringer Haufen during the German Peasants' War. On the death of Georg von Sulmetingen in 1528, the original local nobility became extinct, after which the castle and the village repeatedly changed hands. Between 1538 and 1542, Hieronymus Roth von Schreckenstein, a patrician from Ulm, had a new castle built on the foundations of the previous one, destroyed during the Peasants' War.
In 1551 Untersulmetingen Castle was acquired by Johann Jakob Fugger. His successors altered the castle fundamentally. Around 1600, the gabled roof was constructed. In 1608, Trajan Fugger added a Rococo-style chapel to the castle. He invested a large sum to embellish the castle itself and its precinct, erecting a gatehouse, a castle garden, a tithe barn and several economy buildings. In 1729, the castle was mortgaged to Ochsenhausen Abbey which ultimately bought the castle in 1735.
Between 1730 and 1732, Benedikt Denzel, abbot of Ochsenhausen Abbey, redesigned the interior of Untersulmetingen Castle as well as the castles' chapel, employing prestigious artists such as sculptor Dominikus Hermenegild Herberger and painter Franz Joseph Spiegler.
In 1803, after the dissolution of the monasteries during the secularisation, the castle went into the hands of Georg Karl von Metternich-Winneburg und Beilstein as compensation for territories lost to France following Napoleon's conquests. In 1805 he sold the castle to Karl Anselm von Thurn und Taxis. In December 1805 the village passed into the possession of the Kingdom of Bavaria and in 1806 it was assigned to the Kingdom of Württemberg. Karl Anselm von Thurn und Taxis remained lord of the castle until the feudal tenure was abolished later on. From that time the castle was allocated to the local priest who used it as his residence until 1969, when it was sold into private hands.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.