Gengenbach Abbey was an Imperial Benedictine Abbey from the late Carolingian period to 1803. It was founded by Saint Pirmin (d. 735) sometime after his expulsion from Reichenau in 727 and settled by monks from Gorze Abbey. It enjoyed good relations with the Carolingian dynasty and soon became an Imperial abbey, with territorial independence. In 1007, however, Emperor Henry II presented it to his newly founded Prince-Bishopric of Bamberg.
Gengenbach was deeply embroiled in the Investiture Controversy and two of its abbots were driven out for supporting the Imperial rather than the Papal cause. Shortly after this, the abbey was involved by Abbot Theoger (1080–1139) of St. George's Abbey in the Black Forest and Bishop Otto of Bamberg in the Hirsauer Reform, during which the abbey church was demolished and rebuilt to the Hirsau model. Subsequently, it has been remodelled in the Gothic, Baroque and neo-Romanesque styles.
During the 13th and 14th centuries, the abbey was instrumental in developing the town of Gengenbach to economic maturity. The abbey avoided further monastic reforms, and although in danger of suppression during the Reformation, survived that too.
In 1575 and 1580, the abbey applied for membership of the Imperial College of Prelates but was refused, due to concern about its Imperial immediacy and Vogtei; membership was eventually approved in 1645 but this approval was not implemented until 1751. The abbey was mediatized in the wake of the German Mediatisation of 1803, and shortly afterwards its territories were absorbed into the state of Baden. However, the abbey was left to function under the last abbot until 1807 when the Grand Duke ordered it secularized.References:
Olargues is a good example of a French medieval town and rated as one of the most beautiful villages in France. It was occupied by the Romans, the Vandals and the Visigoths. At the end of the 11th century the Jaur valley came under the authority of the Château of the Viscount of Minerve. The following centuries saw a succession of wars and epidemics, and it was not until the 18th century that Olargues became re-established. This was due to the prosperity of local agriculture and artisanal industry.
The Pont du Diable, 'Devil's Bridge', is said to date back to 1202 and is reputed to be the scene of transactions between the people of Olargues and the devil. The old village is clustered around the belltower, which was formerly the main tower of the castle (Romanesque construction). The old shops have marble frontages and overhanging upper storeys. A museum of popular traditions and art is to be found in the stairs of the Commanderie.