The Château du Plessis-Josso is a fortified 14th century manor house. It is open for tours during the summer, and offers its main hall for hosting events and marriages as well as a small country cottage outside the enclosing walls.
Well-preserved and partially inhabited, the manor-house stands next to a large pond. This feudal Breton ensemble still has its fortified enceinte with towers and crenellated walls that protected it from the armed gangs and pillagers who were operating in the region during the Hundred Years' War and later during the Wars of Religion of the 16th century.
Built around 1330 by Sylvestre Josso, squire of the Duke Jean III during the turbulent period of the Breton War of Succession in the 14th century, it passed next by a powerful alliance to the Rosmadec family and served as a residence for dignitaries such as a bishop, sénéchaux and the governors of various Breton towns. In the late 18th century it became the property of the Le Mintier de Léhélec family who still live there today.
Plessis-Josso, like all 15th century manors in Brittany, had especially an agricultural function as the head of a domaine of 1,500 hectares spread over several parishes and a with population of nearly 500 inhabitants. It had several mills, baker's ovens, a chapel and a small private port in the Gulf of Morbihan. Its role was therefore political, economic and administrative.
This medieval site is composed of several sections of varying architectural styles and eras: the main corps de logis dating from the 15th century with its Gothic dormer windows, a 16th-century Renaissance pavilion, Classical 17th century outbuildings, and a complete enclosing wall whose corner tower defended the access road that spans the causeway, between the lake and the mill.
The ground-floor hall has a very beautiful example of a crédence de justice (wall-cupboard built directly into the stone wall) that was used by the lord of the manor to place books and documents relating to the administration of the manor-court.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.