The "rich" dukes of Bavaria-Landshut (1392-1505) had this name for a reason. The proverbial wealth served the display of power, the development of residences visible from afar served their representation. The wealth that was kept in the residences had to be protected by all means, which is why representative and fortifying expansion accompanied eachother.
The castle Trausnitz in Landshut was the most important residence of the rich dukes. Ludwig I., who ruled whole Bavaria, had already built a residence here from 1204, probably instead of an even older watchtower. The Lower Bavarian Duke Henry XIII extended it in the years 1255-1290. The core buildings of today's complex were built: Fürstenbau, Alte Dürnitz and Damenstock. The rich dukes erected the representative "Wittelsbacherturm" (probably on the site of the previous keep). From 1456, they also provided for the extension of the castle’s fortification, the kennels and the external structures, including the external gate with two flanking towers.
The development of the second residence in Burghausen was similar to the one in Landshut. In the 13th century, the dukes of Wittelsbach had also converted the building into a fortress. Henry XIII. elevated it as the second residence after Landshut and built the main castle with keep, Pallas, Dürnitz, bower and inner castle chapel. The rich dukes continued the expansion.
In particular, George the Rich (1479-1503) and his court architect Ulrich Pesnitzer extended the complex in the sense of modern artillery defence with circular galleries, fortified gates, kennels and outer castles. The "Schütt", which has not survived until today, was built on the eastern corner of the castle, a fortification with bastions, horn works, casemates and earth ramparts.
On top of the nearby Eggenberg, Pesnitzer built his own fortress, which connected to the castle of Burghausen by a wall. In 1484, George the Rich established his treasury in the centre of these defensive works. The tale, which tells that after the duke's death and the dispute over his inheritance, 70 big carts were necessary to transport the Burghausen treasures, is a legend. However, they bear witness to how successfully the Dukes of Bavaria-Landshut represented their legendary wealth.
The togetherness of the castle complexes built under George the Rich and his fortress builder Ulrich Pesnitzer is also reflected in the common defence technology. Between 1497 and 1503, the Duke also owned Neuburg am Inn. The faithfully reconstructed wooden fortified shield at the so-called Rohrbach Bastion shows striking similarities to the main gate of the Burghausen core castle of Pesnitzer.
George the Rich was also lord of Rattenberg Castle in Tyrol. Only after the Landshut War of Succession the castle, together with Kufstein and Kitzbühel, came into the hands of the Habsburg Emperor Maximilian I. Georg and his master builder Pesnitzer were responsible for the first extension of the upstream battery tower, which reacted to new developments in artillery technology. The entire complex can be compared very well with the Eggenberg tower in Burghausen, which was also extended under Georg.