The Royal Abbey of St. Vincent was a former monastery of canons regular in Senlis, Oise, which was dissolved during the French Revolution. Late in their history, they became part of a new congregation of canons regular with the motherhouse at the Royal Abbey of St Genevieve in Paris, known as the Genofévains, widely respected for their institutions of learning.
The abbey was founded in 1065 by Queen Anne of Kiev, the widow of King Henry I of France, possibly built on the ruins of an ancient chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist which had been destroyed in the course of invasion by the Normans in the late 900s. King Philip I of France later declared it to be a royal abbey, independent of all authorities, both ecclesiastical or civil, and made a number of grants of land to the community.
The abbey flourished between the 12th-14th centuries. During this period, the abbey went to great efforts to maintain its independence from the local authorities.
The decline started from the 16th century when there were internal disputes. Anyway the commendatory abbots continued to care for the abbey throughout the rest of its history. They made improvements in the walls and buildings until the mid-18th century. The coming of the French Revolution put an end to its life. In 1791, the canons were assembled and ordered to vacate the abbey, in compliance with the suppression of all religious houses under the new laws of the Republic.
The buildings were seized by the revolutionary government and used in various ways, from a military hospital to a prison for prisoners of war. In 1804, the complex was rented to a manufacturer. By 1835 they had fallen into the hands of a developer who had slated the walls and building for demolition. The following years, three canons of Beauvais were able to raise the funds to purchase the property. They then opened a school for boys.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.