Towering high above the old town of Kronach on Rosenberg hill is Rosenberg Fortress, the former palace of the Prince Bishops of Bamberg and later a regional stronghold. It was officially mentioned first time in 1249.
The early building on the Rosenberg became the castle of the prince-bishop and was, thus, immured and enlarged in the years that followed. Another section of walls, along with the Arsenal Gate in the South, the Old Arsenal and the former construction of the present-day Commander's Building, were developed under the reign of the prince-bishop Philipp von Henneberg (1475-1487).
After the experiences of the Margrave War in 1553, the prince-bishop Veit II von Würtzburg ordered his master builder Daniel Engelhardt to complete the ward as a four-winged fortification. Soon extensions and new constructions of the Old and New Arsenal followed. In the 1570s bastions were developed.
The worst time for the town and the fortress happened to be the Thirty-Year War, when the Swedish tried to capture Kronach several times from 1632 to 1634. Due to the steadfastness of the inhabitants and to the defence readiness of the fortress, whose outer ring still consisted of soil and wood bastions at that time, the plan had failed. The Swedish left Kronach.
After the Thirty-Year War the fortress Rosenberg was armed with lithic bastions in their contemporary shape. In 1699, under the reign of prince-bishop Lothar Franz von Schönborn (1693-1729), the fortification was finished.
In 1867, Rosenberg lost its fort property and in 1888 the town of Kronach acquired it for 32,000 Deutsche Mark, and still own it today.
During the First World War, the fortress served as a prison camp for officers. One of the inmates was the later French president Charles de Gaulle. After World War II, several refugees found shelter in the fortress. Some years later, flats were set up in the Old Arsenal and The Commander's Building. Some of them still existed in the 1970s.
Today, the fortress is one of the largest remaining fortifications in Germany, covering 23.6 hectares. The complex of walls, moats, buildings and gates that emerged over the centuries is still completely surrounded by the fortress pentagon with its five mighty bastions.
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.