Sevnica Castle it dominates the old town of Sevnica and offers views of the surrounding countryside.
The Archdiocese of Salzburg held local estates since 1043 and Sevnica Castle was mentioned for the first time in 1309. The origin of the building was not documented but it was most probably built during the bishopric of Konrad the First von Abensberg (1106–1147), who rebuilt and colonized this area devastated by Hungarian invasions in the 10th century and in the beginning of the 12th century. The only remaining part of the original building is a tower nowadays included in the left wing of the castle.
The so-called Lutheran Cellar was built in the mid-16th century at the southeast side of the Castle Hill. The interior of it embellish frescos dates from the second half of the 16th century.
Between 1595 and 1597, Innocenz Moscon rebuilt the castle in then contemporary Late-Renaissance style and gave it thus its present form. The castle remained the ownership of the Archdiocese of Salzburg until 1803. The storms and fire damaged the castle in 1778 and 1801.
In 1803 Count Johann Händl von Rebenburg became the proprietor of Sevnica Castle. He lowered the battlements, filled in the moats, planted the trees in the park around the castle and made a vineyard with terraces at the south side of the castle hill.
As many other castles in Slovenia, Sevnica Castle was nationalized after the World War II and the precious furniture, which remained untouched until then, vanished. Poor families without apartments of their own were accommodated in the castle and they contributed to the ruination of its property. The park was in a state of total neglect and nobody cared about the vineyard anymore, so even the wine cellar beside Lutheran Cellar was not needed and was removed. The castle has been restored since the 1960s.
Today, Sevnica Castle houses the School and Firefighting Museum, the Museum of Exiles, and an exhibition of decorative arts.References:
The Church of Our Lady before Týn is a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague and has been the main church of this part of the city since the 14th century. The church's towers are 80 m high and topped by four small spires.
In the 11th century, this area was occupied by a Romanesque church, which was built there for foreign merchants coming to the nearby Týn Courtyard. Later it was replaced by an early Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn in 1256. Construction of the present church began in the 14th century in the late Gothic style under the influence of Matthias of Arras and later Peter Parler. By the beginning of the 15th century, construction was almost complete; only the towers, the gable and roof were missing. The church was controlled by Hussites for two centuries, including John of Rokycan, future archbishop of Prague, who became the church's vicar in 1427. The roof was completed in the 1450s, while the gable and northern tower were completed shortly thereafter during the reign of George of Poděbrady (1453–1471). His sculpture was placed on the gable, below a huge golden chalice, the symbol of the Hussites. The southern tower was not completed until 1511, under architect Matěj Rejsek.
After the lost Battle of White Mountain (1620) began the era of harsh recatholicisation (part of the Counter-Reformation). Consequently, the sculptures of 'heretic king' George of Poděbrady and the chalice were removed in 1626 and replaced by a sculpture of the Virgin Mary, with a giant halo made from by melting down the chalice. In 1679 the church was struck by lightning, and the subsequent fire heavily damaged the old vault, which was later replaced by a lower baroque vault.
Renovation works carried out in 1876–1895 were later reversed during extensive exterior renovation works in the years 1973–1995. Interior renovation is still in progress.
The northern portal is a wonderful example of Gothic sculpture from the Parler workshop, with a relief depicting the Crucifixion. The main entrance is located on the church's western face, through a narrow passage between the houses in front of the church.
The early baroque altarpiece has paintings by Karel Škréta from around 1649. The oldest pipe organ in Prague stands inside this church. The organ was built in 1673 by Heinrich Mundt and is one of the most representative 17th-century organs in Europe.