Buxheim Charterhouse was formerly a monastery of the Carthusians (in fact, the largest charterhouse in Germany) and is now a monastery of the Salesians.
The estate of Buxheim belonged from the mid-10th century to the chapter of Augsburg Cathedral, who in about 1100 founded a house of canons here, dedicated to Our Dear Lady.
In 1402 however, after a long period of decline, in an extreme move to preserve it the then provost, Heinrich von Ellerbach, gave the establishment to the Carthusians, a move which proved extremely successful in reviving Buxheim both spiritually and economically. Its wealth however drew the hostile attentions of the nearby city of Memmingen, which occupied it in 1546 during the Reformation, and impounded its property. Prior Dietrich Loher was able however by skilful diplomacy to obtain the favour of Emperor Charles V, and in 1548 the monastery was declared reichsfrei, and thus independent of all territorial authority save that of the Emperor himself, under whose protection it stood; it was the only charterhouse in Germany ever to be granted that status.
It was dissolved in the secularisation of 1802, when ownership passed first to the Counts of Ostein, who allowed the community to remain, and then in 1809 by inheritance to the Counts Waldbott von Bassenheim, who from 1812 used the premises as a castle. In 1916 the state took over the buildings, which in 1926 were acquired by the Salesians.
Parts of the monastery buildings were refurbished by Dominikus Zimmermann in the Rococo style: the monastic church, St. Anne's chapel in the cloisters, and also the nearby parish church. As a masterpiece of Baroque carving, the almost entirely complete choir stalls in the chapel with their rich ornament and figurative decoration, known as the Buxheim Carvings.
Created between 1687 and 1691 by the Tyrolean sculptor and woodcarver Ignaz Waibl, are of international significance. The carvings have an interesting history, having been sold to a Governor of the Bank of England and subsequently installed in St. Saviour's Hospital, Osnaburgh Street, London, whilst that property was the main apostolic work of the Community of the Epiphany, an order of Anglican nuns. The sisters later withdrew to Cornwall and their work was taken over by another Anglican order, the Community of the Presentation. In 1960 the sisters relocated to their other convent at Hythe, Kent, taking the carvings with them. The community dwindled in size and was forced to hand the hospital over to a charitable trust. The sisters decided to return the carvings to Buxheim, which was finally achieved in the early 1980s. the Reverend Mother of the Presentation sisters attended a special repatriation ceremony, and was awarded the Freedom of the City of Buxheim – only the second person ever to receive that honour.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.