Kreuzlingen Abbey was founded in about 1125 by Ulrich I of Dillingen, Bishop of Constance, as a house of Augustinian Canons. In 1144 Pope Lucius II, and in 1145 Emperor Frederick Barbarossa took the monastery under their protection. Kreuzlingen became an Imperial abbey. The abbots, now Imperial prelates, were territorial lords of the small lordship of Hirschlatt north of Friedrichshafen, and this was also their place of refuge in times of war.
The first monastery, as the result of the construction of the town wall intended to protect Stadelhofen from Appenzell, stood outside the suburb.
After the Swabian War, in the Peace of Basle of 15 October 1499 the Duke of Milan ceded the sovereignty of Thurgau to the Swiss. This so angered the inhabitants of Constance that they burned down the abbey of Kreuzlingen. The city was compelled to rebuild the abbey, and on 17 April 1509 Abbot Peter I von Babenberg (1498-1545) was able to rededicate the new church.
During the Thirty Years' War, despite the neutrality of the Swiss, an army entered Thurgau via Stein am Rhein, advanced on Kreuzlingen and besieged Constance unsuccessfully, losing several thousand men. When on 2 October the troops left Kreuzlingen, the people of Constance destroyed the abbey a second time. It was now decided that the monastery should not be rebuilt right up against the walls of Constance, but should be removed from it by not less than the distance of a cannon shot.
On 4 July 1650 the foundation stone of the new premises was laid and on 25 October 1653 the church of Saints Ulrich and Afra was dedicated.
It was constructed according to plans by Michael Beer of Vorarlberg, the founder of the Auer Zunft between 1650 and 1653, by the master builder of Constance, Stephan Gunertsreiner, and the mason Melchior Gruber. The Chapel of the Mount of Olives was constructed in 1760, and four years later the church and parts of the monastery were remodelled in the Rococo style.
The monastery was severely restricted from 1798 by the cantonal government, and despite considerable resourcefulness in developing new educational functions in order to remain in existence, was eventually dissolved in 1848 by the Canton of Thurgau. Some of the buildings, including the library wing and the Lady Chapel with the crypt, were demolished. The remaining buildings were designated for use by the canton's teacher training college. The church was preserved for the use of the town and is now a basilica minor.
In the early 1960s, the church was totally renovated. Shortly afterwards, on the night of 19-20 July 1963, as a result of welding work in the roof of the seminary, the entire building burnt down. The fire did not claim the external walls, the choir screen, the choir ceiling and the choir stalls, or the greater part of the wooden figures in the Chapel of the Mount of Olives. Thanks however to the enormous contributions of the conservator Albert Knoepfli and the deacon Alfons Gmür the church was rebuilt under the direction of Hans Burkard by 1967.
The ceiling paintings by Franz Ludwig Herrmann show scenes from the monastic life of Saint Augustine of Hippo. The magnificent choir screen was made in 1737 by Johann Jakob Hoffner. The statues, larger than life-size, of Saints Ulrich and Afra were carved by Hans Christoph Schenk. Of particular interest is the Chapel of the Mount of Olives with a crucifix and a Calvary. The ceiling painting shows Moses with the brazen serpent and is also by Franz Ludwig Herrmann (1761). The representation of the Mount of Olives, made out of beechwood by Innozenz Beck, contains about 250 original statuettes, about 30 centimetres high, carved of Swiss stone pine wood ('Arvenholz') in about 1720-1730 somewhere in the south-eastern Alpine region.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.