The Church of Old Saint Peter's in Strasbourg is first mentioned in 1130. On 22 May 1398 the Chapter of the Abbey of Honau, which had been in Rhinau since 1290, moved to Old St Peter's because of flooding in Rhinau. The Chapter stayed there until 1529, conducting its services in the choir, while the parish occupied the nave. When the Catholic rite was restored in 1683, the Chapter returned to the Church and stayed there until 1790, when it was wound up.
On 20 February 1529, when Strasbourg openly joined the Reformation and suspended the practice of the mass, the Church became Lutheran. Martin Bucer and the other Strasbourg reformers had campaigned for several years to have Protestant services in all of Strasbourg's churches, but in 1525 the city council had voted to retain the mass in several churches, including Old St Peter's. In 1535, in the context of the Reform, a Latin school, or 'Middle school' was opened at Old Saint Peters.
In 1683, two years after the annexation of Strasbourg by France, Louis XIV ordered that part of the Church be returned to the Catholics and that a wall be constructed inside the church by the rood screen, to restrict the Protestant services to the Nave. It was not until 2012 that a door was opened in this dividing wall.
In the 19th century, the Catholic part of the Church was extended. The extension was designed by the architect Conrath and opened in 1867.
The Catholic Church contains relics of Brigit of Kildare as well as a number of important works of art classified as Monuments historiques such as the 'Cycle of the Passion of Christ', a series of ten Gothic paintings by Heinrich Lutzelmann (1485), the 'Scenes from the Life of St Peter' an (incomplete) series of four wooden early Renaissance or late Gothic reliefs made around 1500 and a series of four 1504 paintings depicting 'Scenes of the Life of Christ after the Resurrection'.
The Lutheran part of the church, presently owned and used by a congregation within the Protestant Church of Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine, also features some notable works of art, among which the wooden Renaissance relief 'Holy Family' (1520s) by Hans Wydyz, classified as a Monument historique.References:
Hochosterwitz Castle is considered to be one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. The rock castle is one of the state's landmarks and a major tourist attraction.
The site was first mentioned in an 860 deed issued by King Louis the German of East Francia, donating several of his properties in the former Principality of Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the 11th century Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ceded the castle to the Dukes of Carinthia from the noble House of Sponheim in return for their support during the Investiture Controversy. The Sponheim dukes bestowed the fiefdom upon the family of Osterwitz, who held the hereditary office of the cup-bearer in 1209.
In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.
Over the next 30 years, the castle was badly damaged by numerous Turkish campaigns. On 5 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I handed the castle as a pledge to Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, then Bishop of Gurk. Bishop Lang undertook a substantial renovation project for the damaged castle.
About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.
Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.
A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.