Engelberg Abbey is a Franciscan monastery located on the hill above the town of Grossheubach. The hill spur on which the abbey is situated was likely used in prehistoric times as a cult site. Around 1300, a chapel dedicated to St. Michael was built there and a statue of Mary erected. The likely location of this chapel was where the choir of today"s church stands. The first documented pilgrimage occurred in 1406. In 1469, a brotherhood was established in connection with the Engelberg pilgrimage.
In 1630, Anselm Kasimir von Wambold, Archbishop of Mainz, asked Capuchins from the Rhenish Province to come here. The abbey was finished by 1639. At the same time the church was enlarged and largely achieved its current, Baroque, form. After 1647, the monastery had the status of Konvent. In 1697, the Antonius chapel was added. In 1701, a Gnadenbild der Freudenreichen Muttergottes from the mid-14th century, was erected in the right side-chapel.
When the German ecclesial states were securalized in the early 19th century in what is known as the German mediatization, Engelberg was initially not much affected. The acceptance of novices was forbidden, though, setting it up for eventual extinction. In 1817, the Gymnasium (school) was dissolved. However, in 1828, King Ludwig I of Bavaria ordered the monks to move to Aschaffenburg. The monastery was refounded, but Franciscans of the Bavarian Order Province took over in taking care of pilgrims.
A burial chapel for the Catholic branch of House Löwenstein was built next to the church. In 1899, the church was enlarged towards the west. A terrace was added as well as the room which today serves as a confessional chapel.
The pilgrimage continues today . Well into the post-WWII period, some pilgrims climbed the steps to the abbey on their knees while praying. The pilgrimage way through the vineyards from Grossheubach features 14 Baroque chapels and 14 Stations of the Cross from 1866.
The current set of mostly Baroque monastic buildings are quite simple architecturally, reflecting their origins during the Thirty Years" War. Back then, measured by its message, the most important work of art was the larger-than-life statue of St. Michael set above the church portal, created by Zacharias Juncker the Older around 1635. It references a much more significant statue of the saint created by Hubert Gerhard for the Michaelskirche at Munich. The statue at Engelberg was erected after the Protestant Swedish had been beaten and driven out of Franconia, turning the monastery into a monument to the resurrected power of the Catholic faith.
The church and some other areas of the monastery are open to visitors. The order runs a restaurant and shop in the buildings.References:
For centuries, the Astrakhan Kremlin was inapproachable stronghold in the south-eastern border of the Russia. The first construction of the Kremlin began in 1587-1588 under the guidance of I.G. Vorodkov, a lector of Discharge Order. He laid the first wooden fortress with powerful solid walls and towers. The place of construction was chosen on the hill, known as “Rabbit” or “Zayachii” in Russian.
During the reign of Ivan IV The Terrible and Boris Godunov the wooden fortress was rebuilt into a stone one. For the development of Kremlin walls and towers state-owned official masters were headed from Moscow to Astrakhan. For best results executives used the old, but very strong Tatar plinths which were brought from the ruins of the cities of the Golden Horde towns. Stone citadel was built by the type of Moscow Kremlin.
Next two centuries have become relatively calm for the Kremlin. Its buildings were repaired, rebuilt and renewed. However, in the beginning of 20th century after the October Revolution access to the Kremlin was closed. Instead it was transformed as a military post, where groups of Red Guards were formed the Military Revolutionary Committee was placed.
In January 1918 Astrakhan Kremlin was once again in the middle of fateful events, when supporters of Soviet power fought with Astrkhan Cossaks. They attacked The Red Army that was entrenched in the Kremlin, from roofs of nearby buildings. Serious destruction was caused to the Kremlin after this battle. In 1919 the Army was reorganized under the leadership of Kirov to protect the outfall of Volga and to defeat the White Guard troops and foreign interventionists.
Only after the end of the World War II the town opened the access to the Kremlin. At the same time Kremlin ceases to be subject of military purposes. In the mid-20th century significant restoration works were held, due to which many buildings, requiring urgent repairs were saved.
In 1974 the Astrakhan Kremlin became a museum. Nowadays citizens and tourists of Astrakhan have the access to museum exhibits of the lifestyle of the Astrakhan Garrison. Moreover they can see Casual Suits archers and scorers, elements of their weapons and ammunition, the exhibition dedicated to the history of popular uprisings and corporal punishment. In 2011, after the restoration of the kremlin, Guardhouse exposition was opened, which tells about the life of Astrakhan military garrison of the 19th century.
Construction of Assumption Cathedral began in 1699 and lasted almost 12 years. The bell tower was erected in 1710. The exterior of the Cathedral was decorated with molded brick and carved with white stone. Windows and dome heads were framed by columns in the style of Corinthian décor and semicircular arches were filled with paintings with biblical plot. Three of such arches were arranged on each side of the temple.
The cathedral was divided into two floors: the upper church is dedicated to the honor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Tall and light temple was intended for ceremonial worships during warm months. The lower church which is dark lightened and surrounded by the gallery columns.