St. Mary’s Church in Anklam is one of the most beautiful Brick Gothic churches in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It was founded in the middle of the 13th century. To this day, one part of the church's double tower and a square-shaped presbytery have been preserved. St. Mary's was mentioned for the first time in written documents in 1296. At the end of the 15th century, the church’s presbytery was enlarged by three aisles, and the ceiling and south chapel were raised; no major architectural changes to the building's structure have been undertaken since.
In 1488, the church changed its name to St. Mary’s Chapel. In 1535, at the time of the Reformation, the church was run by two vicars. As a result of a siege in 1676/77 by forces serving the Brandenburg family, the church was damaged. It was successfully rebuilt with support from a local duke. Between 1778 and 1849, a smaller bell tower was demolished in the church's eastern wing. In 1806, the French army used the church to store hay and straw during the Napoleonic wars. In 1814, new organs were consecrated and in 1816 the burnt top of the steeple was restored. In the years 1849-1852 the church's first floor gallery along with some of the church's ornamented banks was destroyed; composer Karl Loewe later was behind the reconstruction of the gallery over the aisle and organs. In 1887, the top of the steeple was raised to almost 100 metres, and the church was gifted a couple of new organs. During interior renovation work in 1936, the gothic frescos from the second part of the 14th century were discovered on pillars and the ceiling.
The church was severely damaged in 1943 as a result of aerial bombings. All the valuable objects housed in St. Mary's were moved to Schweringsburg Castle, only to be destroyed during a fire in 1945. In 1947, the church's two-sided tower was rebuilt. The main altar featuring a cross from sister church St. Nicholas', as well as two new bells were installed. In 1957, the church was re-consecrated and in 1962 the restored altar, St. Mary’s sculpture and the Schuke organs were returned. In 1971, St. Mary's existing organs were joined by a new organ boasting 5 registers and an additional pedal. In 1992, the reconstruction of the church's roof, external walls, ceilings, heating system, doors and vestry commenced.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.