Blaubeuren Abbey was a house of the Benedictine Order founded in 1085 by the Counts of Rück and Tübingen, against the background of the Investiture Controversy and the Hirsau Reforms. The first abbot, Adzelinus, and monks were from Hirsau Abbey. Abbot Fabri was closely involved with the foundation of the University of Tübingen in 1477. In 1493 the high altar was created. The choir stalls by Jörg Syrlin the younger are of a similar date.
The Reformation saw the end of the Roman Catholic monastery, from which the monks were expelled in 1535, returning for a short time between 1549 and 1562. In 1563 the first Protestant abbot was appointed, and in 1565 a choir school was opened in the premises. During the Thirty Years' War the monks returned again in 1630 and yet again in 1648, but were expelled; the choir school closed in 1630 and reopened in 1650. It was finally shut down in 1807.
A few years later in 1817 Blaubeuren became a Protestant seminary with an attached boarding school, which has remained to the present, except for a closure during World War II. The school now operates in co-operation with the similar establishment at Maulbronn Abbey: see Evangelical Seminaries of Maulbronn and Blaubeuren.References:
Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.
The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.
The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.