St. Rupert's Church is traditionally considered to be the oldest church in Vienna. The church is located in one of the oldest parts of the city, the section of the Roman Vindobona. According to legend, it was founded by Cunald and Gisalrich, companions of Rupert during his occupation of the seat of bishop of Salzburg. However, because Salzburg had influence over religious issues in Vienna between 796 and 829, it is more probable that it was founded in this period.
The first reference in historical documentation is in a document of 1200 when Duke Heinrich II Jasomirgott describes a gift to the Schottenstift church. The document also mentions the Ruprechtskirche, which is labeled the oldest in the city. After the destruction of the Roman settlement, the core part of the city grew in the area near the church. It was the seat of the religious administration before that function was transferred to the Stephansdom in 1147. During the Middle Ages, the church was the seat of the Salt Office, which distributed salt to individual buyers and ensured its quality. The church overlooks the jetty of the salt merchants on the Danube channel.
The ivy-covered church has been rebuilt and altered many times in its history. In 1276, it was damaged by fire and modified. The choir dates from the 13th century, while the southern nave dates from the 15th century. In 1622, it was redecorated in Baroque style. It was also somewhat damaged by shellfire during World War II and affected by the demolition of the nearby ruins of another building. In the middle of the apse, there are two Romanesque stained-glass windows.
The oldest bells in Vienna are located in the church, dating from around 1280. The oldest glass window panes (dating from approximately 1370) can be found in the church. They depict a crucified Christ and the Madonna with baby. The arch on the western gallery has a plaque with the label AEIOU 1439, an undecyphered motto of Emperor Frederick III. The plaque was designed to commemorate the entrance of the emperor to Vienna on December 6, 1439.
A relic of the sarcophagus of Saint Vitalis is located in the church containing the remains of a claimed Christian victim from the Roman catacombs. This memorial of victimization has special meaning in modern times because the Gestapo headquarters, which was used for torture and the organization of Jewish deportations, was located nearby in the Morzinplatz square.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.