The Kirchberg convent is considered to be one of the most historically important religious buildings in Baden-Wuerttemberg. It also ranks as one of the oldest, having been built in the early 13th century, and one of the first female church houses in central Europe.
The Kirchberg monastery was a convent built in 1237, on the site of a former castle. In 1245 the monastery was recognised by Pope Innocent IV. Over roughly the same period, the number of nuns entering the convent went from around ten to sixty. This rise in the population of the convent can be credited in part to the apparent surge of 'religious awareness', with more women (of every class) wanting to live the life of a nun or at least one of piety in order to ensure that they remained spiritually healthy. The convent continued its religious work for the next 500 years, despite the many changes that occurred in the area. However, after a secularisation that occurred in 1806, the monastery was virtually condemned to disuse: the nuns that were there were allowed to remain for the rest of their lives, but no more were allowed to join. The last nun left the monastery in 1865.
Today, the monastery is used as any normal church house. It is the centre of the societies of the Berneuchen Movement.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.