The Fortified Church of St. Arbogast in Muttenz is the only church in Switzerland that is surrounded by a defensive wall. The first church on the site was built in the Early Middle Ages, possibly as early as the 6th century but certainly by the 8th century. Around 1000 the nave was extended toward the west. The second church was built around 1100. This new building had a wider and longer nave and the choir was rectangular with massive walls. The second church was replaced in the mid-12th century by the third church, parts of which still stand today.
The third church, a Romanesque building, had a round apse, a rectangular choir and a bell tower on the north side which were probably grafted on the earlier nave. The church was heavily damaged in the 1356 Basel earthquake. Three years later, under Konrad Münch-Löwenberg, the church was rebuilt. The rounded apse was replaced with the current rectangular choir and the nave was raised to a height of about 1.5 m below its current height. In 1420 Hans Thüring Münch-Eptingen became the owner of the village and had a new, larger bell tower built.
Under Hans Thüring Münch-Eptingen the church was fortified with a seven-metre-tall rampart around 1435. The walls had two gatehouses north and south of the church. By fortifying St. Arbogast, the towns people now had defenses to replace the destroyed Hintere Wartenberg, Mittlere Wartenberg and Vordere Wartenberg Castles. The northern gatehouse is decorated with the coat of arms of the Münch or Münch von Münchenstein family. In 1450 Hans Thüring had the interior of the church covered in frescoes.
The Münch family had to sell the right to appoint priests and collect money for the church to Peter zum Luft in the late 15th century. He probably built the charnal house adjoining the church. After Peter's death, Arnold zum Luft took over the church in 1474. Under Arnold, the nave was raised the final 1.5 m to its current height and in 1504 given a richly painted wooden ceiling by Ulrich Bruder. Large windows were added on the north and south sides of the nave. Additional frescoes depicting the legend of St. Arbogast were added in 1507. In 1513 the charnal house was decorated with frescoes on the interior and exterior walls and ceiling.
In 1517 the city of Basel took over the church. When Basel converted to the new faith of the Protestant Reformation in 1528, St. Arbogast became a Protestant church. The relics of St. Arbogast were destroyed and the altars were sold off. The frescoes were painted over as part of the wave of iconoclasm from the Reformation.
The Sigristenhaus was built outside the south wall in 1553. In 1630 the bell tower was had an additional story added to it and was topped with a pointed spire. At the same time, the nave windows were replaced with new pointed arch windows and another pointed arch window was added on the south side of the choir. During the 17th century the Wächterhaus was added to the south wall to the west of the Sigristenhaus.
The town decided to demolish the walls and gatehouses around the church in 1853, but Zurich historian Johann Rudolf Rahn convinced the council in Basel to preserve them instead. In 1880/81 the church was renovated and the old frescoes were discovered. However their condition was judged to be too poor and they were covered in new plaster. The only exception was a painting of the Last Judgment above the portal which was repainted in 1884 by Karl Jauslin. In the 1970s the church was renovated again. This time, the 19th century plaster was removed and the medieval frescoes were restored.
All three walls are decorated with a series of paintings of the Apostles (1507). Additionally, the south side had the life of Mary and the Ten Commandments (1507). The west side is the Last Judgment (1507), repainted in 1884 by Karl Jauslin. The north side is a fresco of the Passion (1507).
On the north side of the choir above the sacristy is the apostle's medallion from the early 14th century. A fragment of another medallion is visible on the opposite wall. Also on the north wall are two frescoes of the life of St. Arbogast from 1450. In the first King Dagobert brings his son Siegbert, killed in the hunt, to Bishop of Strassburg, Arbogast, and asks for help. In the second the king and his wife pray as Arbogast awakens Siegbert from death.
On the south side the frescoes depict the Assumption of Mary and her crowning in heaven. Another fresco from 1450 shows Saint Nicholas giving three gold purses to the daughters of a poor man.
The vault of the choir features the coat of arms of Münch-Löwenberg from the second half of the 14th century. The remaining frescoes were too badly damaged to be repaired. The rest of the paintings were badly destroyed.
The exterior of the charnal house has a fresco of Saint Christopher on the left side and protective mantel on the right. Saint Michael is above the door and the year 1513 is above the window. Inside the charnal house is a fresco of the Last Judgement from 1513 and an example of the Legend of the grateful dead from the same year. The legend is of a knight who always prays for the souls of the dead. One day he is attacked by robbers and the dead come to his aid, driving off the robbers.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.