Heinzenberg Castle

Cazis, Switzerland

Heinzenberg Castle was built on the western side of the Domleschg Valley in the 12th century by the Freiherr von Vaz. In contrast to the small landholdings of other castles in the region, Heinzenberg was the political and judicial center over much of the valley. Though the first mention of the castle was in 1394, by 1380 the name was applied to the river and the entire side of the valley. The castle was the center of the Vaz family's power in the region until the extinction of the line in 1337-38.

After the extinction of the Vaz, the castle passed to Count Rudolph IV von Werdenberg-Sargans. His son Johann sold it in 1383 to Ulrich Bran von Rhäzüns. In 1450 there was a dispute over inheritance in the Rhäzüns family, the imperial court at Rottweil assigned Heinzenberg to Ursula von Hohenberg, a member of the Rhäzüns family. The castle was damaged in 1451-52 during fighting in the nearby Schams part of the valley. In 1461 the castle returned to the Werdenberg-Sargans family. In 1475 the Heinzenberg lands, except for the castle, was sold to the Bishop of Chur. In 1482 there was a Werdenberg vogt resident in the castle. After the death of Count Georg von Werdenberg-Sargans in 1504, it was abandoned and fell into ruin.

Castle site

The castle was built on a narrow, rocky outcropping below the village of Präz, on the slopes above the valley. A ditch protects the relatively flat mountain side of the outcropping. The tower has a pentagon shaped floor plan and today is about three stories tall. Before its partial collapse in 1956 the tower was a total of six stories high. It was crowned with battlements and topped with a wooden roof. A second construction phase added a ring wall around the tower. The west part of the ring wall is still standing. The remains of a southern wall show that a several story tall residence probably stood there.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Address

Caral 1H, Cazis, Switzerland
See all sites in Cazis

Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Switzerland

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

User Reviews

Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Wroclaw Town Hall

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.