Archeological investigations have shown that the Lauterstein castle was built in the second half of the 12th century. It was first mentioned in writing in 1304 when a document named a Johannis in Lutirstein of the ministerial family of Erdmannsdorf in the castle. Its purpose was the protection of a medieval trade route between Leipzig and Prague across the Ore Mountains.
The family of Schellenberg became lords of Lauenstein in the early 14th century. They lost their influence in 1323 after they lost a feud with Altzella Abbey, and margrave Frederick the Brave enfeoffed the burgraves Albrecht IV von Altenburg und Otto I von Leisnig, who had helped to support him and the abbey, with Lauterstein castle and the town of Zöblitz.
Kaspar von Berbisdorf from Freiberg, an owner of mines and metalworks in the Ore Mountains, bought the lordship of Lauterstein for 4000 guilders from burgrave Otto II of Leisnig and Altenburg in 1434. His descendants Bastian and Melchior divided the lordship and the castle in 1497 into Oberlauterstein and Niederlauterstein. A fire damaged the castle in 1530, but it was rebuilt within a few years. In 1559, Prince-elector Augustus forced the Berbisdorf family to sell castle and lordship Lauterstein for 107,784 guilders and installed the administration of a Saxon Amt in the castle.
According to local tradition, on 14. March 1639, three Swedish horsemen set fire to the castle. It was not rebuilt and has remained a ruin since then. The administrative seat of Amt Lauterstein moved to Marienberg and later to Olbernhau and Zöblitz.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.