Bubikon Castle (Ritterhaus Bubikon) is a former commandery, a medieval monastery of the Knights Hospitaller. Assumably in compensation of claims related to the Alt-Rapperswil lands and rights, a change of goods occurred between the Counts of Toggenburg and Counts of Rapperswil probably in the early 1190s. To end the disputes about the legacy, the Knights Hospitaller abbey and commandry was given by Diethelm V von Toggenburg and Vogt Rudolf von Rapperswil between 1191 and 1198 AD. Although in concurrency to the neighbouring Rüti Abbey, the commandery's lands and goods grew with donations by local noble families during the 13th and 14th centuries – at the height of their power, the commandry owned land all over the present canton of Zürich.
The commandry's inhabitants was granted Burgrecht by the neighbouring town of Rapperswil, later by the city of Zürich. During the Reformation in Zürich and the riots in the Herrschaft Grüningen against the feudal owners of the lands cultivated by the farmers and their families, Johannes Stumpf, the commander of the commandry at the time, supported its secularization and those of the neighbouring Rüti Abbey in spring 1525. The lands partially became the property of the city of Zürich when the convent was secularized in 1528 (convent) respectively 1798 (commandry).
The Ritterhaus building complex consists of the commander's house, the rectory, the Schütte and Sennhaus buildings, the so-called Bruderhaus being the oldest building, the 12th-century chapel of St. John the Baptist (dated 1192 AD), as well as the adjacent farm and economic buildings. The brothers’ house (Bruderhaus) and the chapel are the oldest buildings of the commandery and were probably built in the early 1190s, assumably incorporating an older building (maybe a chapel) that was built by the Toggenburg family. The 14th-century Romanesque nave of the chapel was expanded by a Gothic chancel that was destroyed in 1819. The remains of Romanesque mural paintings date back to the first half of the 13th century. They illustrate the foundation of the commonly named Ritterhaus building complex by the Toggenburg and Rapperswil families, and display scenes of the live of Saint John the Baptist.
The chapel was desecrated and secularised during the Reformation in Zürich. The main building (Haupthaus), serving as the commander's house and administration complex, and the adjacent wing (Ritterhausflügel) were added between the 13th and 15th century; after the Reformation it was the seat of the local governor, a city council member from Zürich. The representative rooms were used for official purposes, and therefore richly decorated in the Renaissance style in 1570. At the same time, the coats of arms of the Knights of Malta was painted onto the façade towards the courtyard. The servants' house was built around 1480 and rebuilt in 1570 for the purpose of the production of cheese.References:
The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.
British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.
Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.
Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.
Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.
On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.