Schloss Lauterbach stands on a moraine hill in the east of the village of Lauterbach. The main castle complex is surrounded by a moat to the south and west, almost always dry, which is scarcely visible due to the woods that have been allowed to grow.
The Lauterbach estate was established by the first half of the 13th century. The Dachau family made Lauterbach their seat from around 1250 to 1437. The castle then passed through marriage to Veit von Eglofstein. He and his wife sold the castle in 1449, and there were various changes of ownership in the next hundred years. In 1550 Jörg or Georg Hundt zu Lauterbach und Valkenstein took possession and restored the castle. At this time it was a tall rectangular building surrounded by a thick ring wall, with defensive towers in the four corners. The castle was damaged during the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648). By the end of the war it had been burned down. In the second half of the 17th century Johann Franz Maximilian Servatius von Hundt undertook a major restoration, depicted in engravings by Michael Wening.
The oldest depiction of Schloss Lauterbach is in a map by Philipp Apian from 1568. It is a rough drawing, but shows the remains of a fort with four corner towers. An engraving by Michael Wening from around 1700 shows the castle complex with a French parterre to the east of the castle. The earlier main structure is shown, with the addition of a chapel and a wing joining it to a three-story building that no longer exists. Another engraving by Wening, also published in the 1700 Historico Topographica Descriptio, shows the schloss from the northwest. The main building appears as two separate structures, and the chapel has a rounded apse. The two engravings may represent the building at a different stage of construction.
A further representation from 1729 shows the castle in essentially its present form, including a hexagonal fountain depicted by Wening. A view from around 1800 no longer shows the building to the north of the courtyard, and most of an elongated southern farm building show in earlier views is now gone. The fountain in the courtyard has also been removed. Later views show no significant changes.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.