Church of St. Mary is a benedictine monastery church founded in 1066 on the eastern side of the old Roman forum.
The benedictine monastery was founded beside an existing church in 1066 by the Zadar noblewoman Čika. The monastery subsequently received royal protection and grants by king Petar Krešimir IV. After becoming a nun later in life, Čika endowed the monastery with two hymnariums and a prayer book, along with other valuable items. Both hymnariums are lost, but the prayer book survived, and is currently kept in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
Čika's daughter Vekenega entered the monastery as a nun in about 1072, after the death of her husband Dobroslav. Vekenega, as the first successor of Čika, sought financial aid from the new king Coloman of Hungary to finish the monastery, and to erect new monastery objects. The monumental tower bears Coloman's name and the year 1105. The tower bears the inscription which commemorates the king's entrance to Zadar in 1102. The chapel of the tower also features the remains of frescoes dating from the 12th century. The church bears her tomb, which are decorated by Latin verses.
In 1507, a new Renaissance portal and a southern facade were added by the Korčula-born builder and stone worker Nikola Španić. The interior is decorated by rich baroque motives from 1744.
During World War II, when the city was a part of Italy, the church and the surroundings were destroyed by Allied bombing. The church was rebuilt after the war.References:
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.