Neuburg Abbey was founded in 1130 by Anshelm, a monk from the Benedictine Lorsch Abbey, as a priory of Lorsch. It did not thrive, and in 1195 was turned into a nunnery by order of Conrad of Hohenstaufen, Count Palatine of the Rhine, and raised to the status of abbey, but its condition did not improve as had been hoped. When Lorsch Abbey was suppressed in 1232 Neuburg passed under the authority first of the Bishop of Mainz and then of the Bishop of Worms, a strong advoate of the Cistercian reforms, and with the assistance of the nearby Schönau Abbey, a Cistercian monastery, Neuburg became a Cistercian nunnery. This at last boosted its fortunes, both spiritually and financially, resulting in a period of lively building activity during the 14th century. But another decline set in, and in 1462 at the instigation of Frederick I, Elector Palatine, the community reverted to the Benedictine observance.
During the Reformation, in 1562, the nunnery was suppressed. The premises then became the property of the Electors Palatine, and were put to a variety of purposes, including in the 1660s and 1670s a Frauenstift, or a collegiate establishment for the accommodation of unmarried daughters of the nobility. The Stift lasted only a few years, but had an enduring influence on the name of the place, which from this point on has generally been known as Stift Neuburg.
In 1706 Johann Wilhelm II, Elector Palatine gave the premises to the Jesuits of Heidelberg, who constructed the buildings now to be seen on the site. After the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, the former abbey reverted to the possession of the Elector and in 1799 was mortgaged in favour of Heidelberg University, passing into private hands in 1804. In 1825 it became the property of Johann Friedrich Heinrich Schlosser, a nephew by marriage of Goethe, and after his death to his wife's relatives, the von Bernus family.
In 1926 Neuburg was reacquired for the Benedictines from the poet and mystic Alexander von Bernus, and resettled by Beuron Archabbey. It was elevated to the status of an abbey in 1928. The problems of the new foundation were great, and the first abbot, Adalbert von Neipperg, elected in 1929, resigned in 1934, after which the abbey was directed by an administrative board. The dissolution of the abbey during World War II was prevented by its being used as a refuge for the inmates of a bombed-out old people's home from the Ruhrgebiet.
Serious development of the community began in 1948, under the newly elected second abbot, Dr. Albert Ohlmeyer. In 1960 the restored and extended church was dedicated. After Dr. Ohlmeyer's death in 1976 the community elected Dom Maurus Berve, and after his early decease in 1986, the present abbot, Dom Franziskus Heereman from the Trappist Mariawald Abbey in the Eifel.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.