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:
From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.
Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.
In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.
Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.