The first documented mention of a castle on the site of current palace dates from 1398. The current palace replaced an earlier previous moated fortress. The manor belonged to the von Schorlemer and the von Rüdenberg families till 1447 when it was acquired by the von Lürwalds. They were followed by the von Hanxleden who were in their turn succeeded by the von Westrems in 1614. Between 1645 and 1819 it belonged to the von Weichs family.
In 1714 Franz Otto von und zu Weichs instructed the architect Justus Wehmer to construct a replacement palace in the fashionable Baroque style, and the new building was completed in 1746. The von Fürstenbergs acquired it in 1830 and it has remained in this family since that time.
In 1945 the palace was occupied by the British and became as a holding centre for refugees rendered homeless by ethnic cleansing after large parts of eastern Germany had been transferred to Poland and the Soviet Union. Between 1999 and 2004 the palace underwent an extensive restoration under the direction of the then owner, Baron Dietger von Fürstenberg, whose work earned him a prize for Historic preservation.
Today Körtlinghausen is available for conferences, receptions and other large functions. Buildings on the north side house administrative operations for the house and its farm estate.
The site comprises a rectangular manor house with two detached wings, one on each side, to the north of the main building. Between them these form three sides of a four sided courtyard. To the north of that runs part of the moat, across which a continuation of the courtyard is flanked by the stable block. Within the moat, the principal island is the one on which the mansion and its detached wings stand: there is also a small 'unbuilt' island to the west of that.
The windows of the simple rendered building are framed in sandstone. On the main building the lines of the hipped roof are interrupted by gable windows, and the roof is topped off with four substantial chimney blocks. On each of the long sides of the court-yard ('Cour d'honneur'), it is rimmed by two short pavilion-like detached wings. On the garden (south) side the double steps approaching the main arched entrance are inscribed with the date, 1721. On the court-yard side the main entrance of the main building is topped of with a double double coats of arms of the von Weichs and (in the eighteenth century, neighbouring) von Droste zu Erwittearistocratic families.
The main double staircase leads to the first floor via a raised mezzanine halfway up A large ground floor reception room, with rich stucco decoration and frescoes on the ceiling, overlooks the park. The coat of arms of the Baron von Weichs who had the château built is prominently displayed along with those of each of his three successive wives.
The chapel is directly accessible from either of the building's two main floors. The ceiling is decorated with a geometrical stucco design incorporating the image of Mary Magdalene, to whom the chapel is dedicated. The ceiling was painted in 1727. The altar dates from 1739. The raised box (literally 'patronal loggia'), constructed to be occupied by the lord of the manor and his family during services, is particularly eye-catching.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.