Either Lütold V von Regensberg or his son Ulrich established the fortified town of (Neu)-Regensberg around 1250. Ulrich died around 1280, and his son Lütold VIII had to sell Regensberg to Habsburg-Austria in 1302. The Habsburgs mortgaged the castle and town several times, and in 1407 the so-called Herrschaft Regensberg was acquired by the city of Zürich. From 1417 the castle became the seat of the bailiff of the bailiwick of Regensberg. On 6 June 1443 the council of Zürich forced their troops and the citizens to defend the fortified town, three days later the castle was conquered during the Old Zürich War by Zürich's contrahents, but not destroyed, and some months later manned again by Zürich troops.
On 9 September 1540 the town, but not the castle, was destroyed by fire, because it was separated from the Oberstadt by a ditch. The upper castle was rebuilt in the following year. From 1689 the castle and the upper town were fortified according to then modern standards. On 13 March 1798 the French revolutionary troops forced the council of the city republic of Zürich to abdicate, and the country bailiwicks were dissolved. After the end of the short-lived Helvetic Republic, Regensberg became the district capital, and the castle was the seat of the cantonal authorities, and in the main building there was the county jail until 1863.
Regensberg was designed as a fortified castle town and built by then modern contemporary criteria. The so-called upper castle (Oberburg) comprises a rectangular plaza as main square which is surrounded two rows of houses, and into the limestone a 57 m (187 ft) deep water well was carved. The lower castle (Unterburg) or lower town (Unterstadt) was probably built in the 14th century nestled at the castle's hill outside of the town wall. Therefore, it was not involved in the modernization of the upper castle in 1689.
Nowadays, the castle belongs to the Regensberg Castle Foundation. The round tower is still open to the public and offers a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding region. In addition, information panels inside the tower relate the history of the small country town of Regensberg.References:
The Church of Our Lady before Týn is a dominant feature of the Old Town of Prague and has been the main church of this part of the city since the 14th century. The church's towers are 80 m high and topped by four small spires.
In the 11th century, this area was occupied by a Romanesque church, which was built there for foreign merchants coming to the nearby Týn Courtyard. Later it was replaced by an early Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn in 1256. Construction of the present church began in the 14th century in the late Gothic style under the influence of Matthias of Arras and later Peter Parler. By the beginning of the 15th century, construction was almost complete; only the towers, the gable and roof were missing. The church was controlled by Hussites for two centuries, including John of Rokycan, future archbishop of Prague, who became the church's vicar in 1427. The roof was completed in the 1450s, while the gable and northern tower were completed shortly thereafter during the reign of George of Poděbrady (1453–1471). His sculpture was placed on the gable, below a huge golden chalice, the symbol of the Hussites. The southern tower was not completed until 1511, under architect Matěj Rejsek.
After the lost Battle of White Mountain (1620) began the era of harsh recatholicisation (part of the Counter-Reformation). Consequently, the sculptures of 'heretic king' George of Poděbrady and the chalice were removed in 1626 and replaced by a sculpture of the Virgin Mary, with a giant halo made from by melting down the chalice. In 1679 the church was struck by lightning, and the subsequent fire heavily damaged the old vault, which was later replaced by a lower baroque vault.
Renovation works carried out in 1876–1895 were later reversed during extensive exterior renovation works in the years 1973–1995. Interior renovation is still in progress.
The northern portal is a wonderful example of Gothic sculpture from the Parler workshop, with a relief depicting the Crucifixion. The main entrance is located on the church's western face, through a narrow passage between the houses in front of the church.
The early baroque altarpiece has paintings by Karel Škréta from around 1649. The oldest pipe organ in Prague stands inside this church. The organ was built in 1673 by Heinrich Mundt and is one of the most representative 17th-century organs in Europe.