Malchow Abbey is a former Cistercian nunnery founded in 1298, when the nuns from Röbel settled in Alt-Malchow and took over the premises of the former Magdalene community here. Nicholas II, Prince of Werle, gave the new nunnery the patronage of the churches at Alt-Malchow, Neu-Malchow and Lexow. After the Reformation the abbey was a collegiate foundation for noblewomen from 1572 to 1923.
The former abbey building complex is now dominated by the church, which was built between 1844 and 1849 to plans by Friedrich Wilhelm Buttel. These included a 52-metre high brick tower, after the addition of which it was thought necessary to refurbish the nave for aesthetic reasons. Before 1844 the church was a simple stone building.
After a fire in 1888 the church was rebuilt in a Gothic Revival between 1888 and 1890 according to plans by Georg Daniel.
Of the old abbey buildings there still exist the cloister, as well as some ancillary buildings now used for residential purposes.
In the abbey church and the nearby organ courtyard is a permanent exhibition relating to the history of organ-building in Mecklenburg. The Mecklenburg Organ Museum is the first of its sort in the new Bundesländer. In the abbey church itself there is an organ by Friedrich Friese III.
The abbey complex also includes the Engelsche Garten, laid out by, and named after, Johann Jacob Christian Engel (1762–1840), master of the abbey kitchen from 1786 to 1818. It was not completed until 1855/56.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.