Scharfenberg Castle (popularly also called Münz), is the ruin of a medieval rock castle above the small South Palatine town of Annweiler.
Scharfenberg and its sister castles, Trifels and Anebos are known as the Trifels Group and are the symbol of Annweiler, which sprawls beneath them in the valley meadows of the River Queich. In the immediate vicinity lie the sites of two other castles, the Fensterfels and the Has.
The landmark of the castle is a 20-metre-high bergfried, whose walls are made of rusticated ashlars from the Hohenstaufen era. In addition, parts of the well tower and enceinte may still be seen.
Scharfenberg Castle was built in the first half of the 12th century under the Hohenstaufen king, Conrad III, who died in 1152. It was initially probably used as a state gaol. After its subsequent owners, a ministeriales family, had been named Scharfenberg, it became the seat of the most important member of the family in the early 13th centyr, the Bishop of Speyer and Chancellor of the Holy Roman Empire, Conrad III of Scharfenberg. Since its destruction during the Peasants' War in 1525, the castle has lain in ruins.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.