Schussenried Abbey was a Premonstratensian monastery founded by the local landowners, Berengar and Konrad of Schussenried in 1183. It was settled from the Premonstratensian Rot an der Rot Abbey. Pope Innocent III granted it his protection and guaranteed its immunity by a privilege of 13 February 1211. It acquired substantial endowments and built up a considerable territory, and was declared an imperial abbey (i.e., territorially independent) in 1440.
The abbey suffered tremendous damage and losses however in the Thirty Years' War: many of the monastic buildings were burnt down by the Swedes and the lands were largely laid waste. Sufficient recovery had at length been made by the 18th century for comprehensive re-building to be undertaken, and the present name Neues Kloster ('new monastery') refers to the Baroque re-construction from 1752. The planning was the responsibility of Dominikus Zimmermann. The original plan of four wings with an integrated church was not completely carried out for financial reasons: the present three-winged construction consists of the north wing plus stumps of the intended east and west wings, and represents about a third of the projected building complex.
After the German Mediatisation of 1803 the abbey and its territory was given, in compensation for their losses to the west of the Rhine, to the Counts of Sternberg-Manderscheid, who used the abbey as their castle. In 1806 the territory was mediatised to the Kingdom of Württemberg, to whom the counts' heirs sold the buildings in 1835.
The State of Württemberg set up a foundry on part of the land, and in 1875 a nursing home was set up in the buildings. Until 1997 this was the State Psychiatric Hospital of Bad Schussenried, later known as the Centre for Psychiatry. Since 1998 the 'Neue Kloster' has been used as an exhibition and event centre.
The Baroque library is the most spectacular part of the monastic buildings and one of the main sights of the Oberschwäbische Barockstraße. The room is extremely light. The locked bookcases are arranged in two storeys. The ornamentation is among the richest of the 18th century in the German-speaking world. The ceiling fresco completed by Franz Georg Hermann in 1757 shows in bewildering detail the workings of divine wisdom in apocalypse, scholarship, education and craft.
To the most recent sculptures created for the room belong the eight groups of False Church Teachers, opposite which stand eight large figures of True Church Teachers. They are by Fidelis Sporer and were finished in 1766.
The abbey church is now the parish church, dedicated to Saint Magnus. It contains elements of Romanesque Gothic and Baroque architecture. Among the most noteworthy features are the choir stalls by Georg Anton Macheln and the ceiling frescoes by Johannes Zick showing the life of Norbert of Xanten, founder of the Premonstratensians.References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.