Prince Wizlaw I granted the central parts of the woods covering the mainland section of his Principality of Rügen to Cistercian monks from Camp Abbey in Lower Saxony who build Neuenkamp Abbey on 8 November 1231. The monks erected a church that was then the largest church in all Pomerania. The possessions of the abbey rapidly increased, 50 years after its foundation the abbey's territory reached the coast. The woods were cleared, and numerous villages of the Hagenhufendorf type were set up and populated with German settlers. In 1325, the last prince of Rügen died without an issue, and Neuenkamp with the rest of the principality was inherited by the dukes of Pomerania. The abbey prospered until it was secularized in 1535, following the Protestant Reformation and the adaoption of Lutheranism by the Pomeranian nobility in 1534.
Following the secularization, the new owner, duke Bogislaw XIII, rebuilt the abbey as his ducal palace, and turned the former abbey's yards into a town. He modeled the new town after the Republic of Venice, envisioning a town holding a population of nobles, craftsmen, merchants and artists, that was to compete with neighboring Hanseatic Stralsund. As a consequence of these ambitions, he granted the new town no surrounding land, for he did not like the idea of inhabitants doing in agriculture. Rather, he concentrated weavers in the town and had a mint built. He named the town after his father-in-law, Francis of Brunswick-Lüneburg. The abbey's church was torn down in 1561, only the southernmost extremity was left and still stands today. When Bogislaw however inherited Stettin in 1603, he lost interest in his Franzburg ambitions, and the town never grew to the envisioned size and status.
The beginning of the Thirty Years' War in the Duchy of Pomerania was marked by the Capitulation of Franzburg, which provided for the occupation of the duchy by Albrecht von Wallenstein's mercenary army. In the following, the town was devastated completely. Franzburg lost its weaveries and the mint. Only a century later, in 1728, Franzburg was resettled.
However, it remained the seat of administration of the surrounding Kreis Franzburg, basically the mainland part of the former principality of Rügen, until the seat was moved to Barth after World War I.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.