Griffen castle was built between 1124 and 1146 by order of Bishop Otto of Bamberg. In an 1160 deed, Emperor Friedrich I mentioned Grivena as a Bamberg property.
In 1292 the Carinthian nobleman Count Ulrich von Heunburg with support of Archbishop Konrad IV of Salzburg occupied the fort in an uprising against Albert of Habsburg, the son of King Rudolph I of Germany and Duke Meinhard II. However Ulrich was abandoned by his allies and one year later had to leave the castle. In 1759 Bishop Adam Friedrich sold the Bamberg estates in Carinthia to Maria Theresa of Austria and the castle was incorporated into the Carinthian duchy.
About 1520 a large reconstruction of the castle took place as a protection against the threat posed by the Ottoman forces with a base amounted of about 4000 m², though the Turks never laid siege to Griffen. In 1659 a flash impact destroyed one of the towers and the decay of the castle began. In 1768 a last religious service took place and about 1840 the roofs were torn. In 2000 the preservation of the castle began. A steep footpath leads up the mountain to the ruins.
Within the mountain is the Griffener Tropfsteinhöhle (dripstone cave) with a length of 485m, which was not discovered until the late days of World War II. It is open to public and a natural landmark since 1957.References:
The Erfurt Synagogue was built c. 1094. It is thought to be the oldest synagogue building still standing in Europe. Thanks to the extensive preservation of the original structure, it has a special place in the history of art and architecture and is among the most impressive and highly rated architectural monuments in Erfurt and Thuringia. The synagogue was constructed during the Middle Ages on the via regia, one of the major European trade routes, at the heart of the historical old quarter very close to the Merchants Bridge and the town hall. Many parts of the structure still remain today, including all four thick outer walls, the Romanesque gemel window, the Gothic rose window and the entrance to the synagogue room.
After extensive restoration, the building was reopened in 2009. On display in the exhibition rooms is an collection of medieval treasures discovered during archaeological excavations. This includes 3,140 silver coins, 14 silver ingots, approx. 6,000 works of goldsmithery from the 13th and 14th centuries and an intricately worked wedding ring of the period, of which only two others are known to exist anywhere in the world. A mikveh (Jewish bath) has been excavated close by (13th/14th century). The Old Synagogue, the Small Synagogue and two Jewish cemeteries together form a network of historical buildings and sites which vividly portray the role of Jewish life in the history of Erfurt.