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     History of Lauf a.d. Pegnitz
  Birthplace of Christian Castner/Kastner
Favorably situated on the old trade-route from Nürnberg to Bohemia and on the banks of the river Pegnitz, Lauf has developed to one of the most important and largest towns in the county of Nürnberg.

Just a hamlet in the 2nd half of the 11th century, it became a busy trading post with a town hall in the center of its market place.  One early chronicler mentions four mills along the river in 1275 which together with the settlement were protected by the castle on the Pegnitz Insland.  The caslte was the residence of vassals of the Kaiser who had to administer the imperial property.  Lauf thrived under the reign of medieval Kaiser Karl IV.  The Kaiser consolidated his regime in Bohemia and, thereby made Lauf an important stronghold between 1353 and 1373.  Not only did he confirm the freedom of the city by documents but also established his own mint there.

The island castle, finished in 1360 and known as the Wenzelschoß, reflects the royal splendor of the Middle Ages.  In the Imperial Hall of the castle are more than one hundred coats of arms of the Bohemian noble families on display.  The Kaiser had them carved into the smooth sandstone by skilled stonemasons.  These coats of arms count as the
The Altes Rathaus or old town hall, wich was built in the 1400's. It was rebuilt in 1553 after the Markgrafenkrieg  The steeple of the  Johanniskirche in upper left of the picture was under 1998.  More photos
best examples of medieval heraldy and attest to the former might of Karl IV.

Belonging to the Bavarian Kingdom since 1806, Lauf became the seat of various offices and courts.  The flourishing industry, favored by two railraod lines, attracted a lot of workers from Upper Palatinate and the Bohemian Forest regions.  By assimilating refugees after the 2nd World War and incorporating eleven communities for the purpose of regional reogranization, the number of inhabitants has risen to 24,000.  As a district town and the seat of many central institutions and surrounded by the great scenic beauty of Franconia, the traditional town Lauf has reached an importance which is commensurate with its historical development.
The castle of Lauf, called the Wenzelschoß, built in 1360 by Kaiser Karl IV.  Part of it now isused as a school. Click here for additional photos.
The Wenzelschloß from the other side, looking across the drawbridge at the front of the castle.
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