Rauenstein Castle guarded the crossing over the River Flöha along the road from Freiberg to Annaberg. The castle is first mentioned in 1323, although from archaeological investigations it is postulated that it had been built by around 1200. The first lords of Rauenstein were the Schellenbergers.
After several changes of ruler, the castle went into the possession of the Electorate of Saxony in 1567. The Amt of Rauenstein was given to Wolkenstein in 1596. Around 1630 large structural changes were made. The road tunnel also dates to this time.
From 1651 to 1743 the castle was rented to the von Römer family, who had become very wealthy as a result of silver mining in the Schneeberg area. Its owner, Christian August Hähnel, who had bought Rauenstein in 1816, his nephew, Wolfgang, Freiherr von Herder (owner from 1843 to 1853) and another family member, Wilhelm Freiherr von Herder, were members of the Saxon Landtag. The next owner, Gottfried Freiherr von Herder, was a German Conservative Reichstag MP from 1893 to 1898.
After its confiscation as part of the land reform in the Soviet Zone of Occupation in 1945, the castle was used as a children's convalescent home. It has been owned by a private family since 1998 and may now only be viewed from the outside.References:
Spišskà Kapitula, a unique fortified ecclesiastical ensemble, began as a small fortified settlement overlooking Spišské Podhradie in the 12th century. It was the site of the residence of the Provost of the castle, in the no longer extant St Martin"s monastery, and later became a capitulary. This was destroyed in by Tatars in 1241-1243, but the pilgrim"s chapel, in rotunda form and dedicated to the Virgin, survived until the 18th century and the monastery until the 15th century.
The complex of buildings there is based on the Cathedral of St Martin, where building began in 1285 as a three-aisled Romanesque basilica with a chancel at the west end and a double spire. It owes its present form to successive remodellings and additions in the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles.
The Provost's residence was completed in 1281 and further religious buildings were added. Frequent raids by marauding Bulgars and others led to its being fortified in the 14th century. The cathedral was rebuilt in the later 14th century. In 1776 it became the residence of the Bishop and four years later a seminary was established. In 1819 the first teacher training centre in Hungary was founded there.
The Bishop's Palace is largely Baroque, with some excellent interior decorations, like many of the religious buildings in the group. The oval ground plan of the centre of the town is due to its having been fortified in the 14th century. The various religious buildings had defensive functions in this early period. New monastery buildings were erected when the provost"s residence was rebuilt and the whole area fortified. The earlier central fortifications were removed in the 18th century.
Spišské Kapitula is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Levoča, Spiš Castle and the associated cultural monuments.