Plassenburg is one of the most impressive castles in Germany and a symbol of the Kulmbach. It was first mentioned in 1135. The Plassenberg family were ministerial of the counts of Andechs (later the dukes of Andechs-Meranien) and used as their seat the Plassenburg. The House of Guttenberg, a prominent Franconian noble family, traces its origins back to 1149 with a Gundeloh v. Plassenberg. The name Guttenberg is derived from Guttenberg and was adopted by a Heinrich von Blassenberg around 1310. From 1340, the Hohenzollerns governed from Plassenburg castle their territories in Franconia till 1604. The Plassenburg was fortress and residence for the Hohenzollerns.
The castle was destroyed in 1554 at the end of the second Margravian war (1552–1554) of margrave Albert Alcibiades. The Plassenburg was later rebuilt by the architect Caspar Vischer as an impressive stronghold and as a huge palace. In 1792, Margrave Alexander sold the Plassenburg to his cousin, the King of Prussia. A combined Bavarian and French army under the command of Jérôme Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, besieged the Plassenburg in 1806. In 1810, Kulmbach became Bavarian and the castle was used as a prison and as a military hospital. During the second world war, the Organisation Todt used the Plassenburg as a training camp and recreation home. Today, it is a museum and a venue for cultural events.
It contains a significant collection of Prussian military artifacts and portraits.References:
The Arch of Constantine is situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It was erected by the Roman Senate to commemorate Constantine I's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312. Dedicated in 315, it is the largest Roman triumphal arch. The arch spans the Via triumphalis, the way taken by the emperors when they entered the city in triumph.
Though dedicated to Constantine, much of the decorative material incorporated earlier work from the time of the emperors Trajan (98-117), Hadrian (117-138) and Marcus Aurelius (161-180), and is thus a collage. The last of the existing triumphal arches in Rome, it is also the only one to make extensive use of spolia, reusing several major reliefs from 2nd century imperial monuments, which give a striking and famous stylistic contrast to the sculpture newly created for the arch.
The arch is 21 m high, 25.9 m wide and 7.4 m deep. Above the archways is placed the attic, composed of brickwork reveted (faced) with marble. A staircase within the arch is entered from a door at some height from the ground, on the west side, facing the Palatine Hill. The general design with a main part structured by detached columns and an attic with the main inscription above is modelled after the example of the Arch of Septimius Severus on the Roman Forum.