Between 1779 and 1783, the Dean of Trier Cathedral, Philipp Franz Count of Walderdorff had a summer residence built on the west bank of the Moselle in the style of early French neo-classicism. The architect engaged was the French master builder François Ignace Mangin. Situated directly on the bank of the Moselle, the residence faces northeast and thus lies in the direct line of sight to Trier. The name Monaise means 'my leisure', pointing to the original function of the palace as a summer residence.
The structure belongs to the few examples of early French neo-classicism in Germany. The style developed in France during the reign of King Louis XVI and is therefore called Louis Seize Style. The height of the structure is remarkable in comparison to the small surface area at ground level, only 10x20 m. The main façade is characterised by a tri-part central projection with four Ionic columns in the upper storeys, with balcony behind. Crowning the central projection is a coat of arms held by two lions rampant. The motto underneath, 'OTIUM CUM DIGNITATE', means more or less 'Enjoy leisure with dignity'. The palace is surrounded by a sandstone balustrade and four small corner pavilions.
When the owner, Count of Walderdorff, became Prince Bishop of Speyer in 1791, he sold the palace to Eleonore of Blochhausen, the widow of a court legal advisor in Luxembourg. Later, it fell into the hands of various owners. Beginning in 1920, it belonged to the United Hospitals and, in 1969, it was bought by the city. As the palace had not been used for a long time, its condition continued to deteriorate, although shoring-up measures were conducted again and again. Numerous attempts to save the building always failed in the end because of lack of finances. The restoration of Monaise get underway in 1992 and was finished in 1997.
Monaise houses nowadays , among other things, a top-quality restaurant.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.