St. Egidien is considered a significant contribution to the baroque church architecture of Middle Franconia.
The first church building was probably built in the years 1120/1130 on the site of the second, northern Nuremberg royal court. The royal courts administered royal possessions, agriculture and forestry. Thus, it had the status of a royal church.
Around the year 1140 Emperor Conrad III and his wife Gertrud raised the foundation to the rank of a benedictine abbey and endowed it generously. They made Carus, Abbot of the Scots Monastery, Regensburg, their royal chaplain and the first Abbot of St Egidien. The monastery was rich immediately and subordinate in secular terms only to the Holy Roman Emperor. The first monks came from the Scots Monastery, Regensburg and St. James's Abbey, Würzburg.
In 1418, the monastery was impoverished and in debt. The altar vessels were mortgaged, and the Scots Monastery, Regensburg no longer guaranteed the debt. The abbey was taken over by German Benedictines from Reichenbach After the take-over the monastery was partially rebuilt, and the church and chapels were renovated. The Irish monks had to come to terms with the new regime or leave the abbey.
At the Reformation in 1525 the monastery was dissolved, and the monastic estates transferred to the city authorities. After the Peace of Augsburg there were two unsuccessful attempts to recover the former monastic estates for the Benedictine order, firstly in 1578 by the Scottish Bishop John Lesley on behalf of Mary, Queen of Scots, and from 1629 to 1631 by a Commission for the Prince-Bishopric of Bamberg to implement a Roman Catholic Restitution Edict. On 6 and 7 July 1696 a fire destroyed the monastery and church.
The church was rebuilt in the baroque style. The foundation stone was laid on 14 October 1711. The architects were Johann Trost and Gottlieb Trost. It was the largest construction project in Nuremberg in the 18th century. The stucco decorations were done by Donato Polli. The frescos were painted by Daniel Preisler and Johann Martin Schuster.
The church was badly damaged during the Second World War in an air raid on 2 January 1945. The roof on the nave, crossing, transepts and choir collapsed and the outer walls were badly damaged. It was rebuilt between 1946 and 1959 by the Nuremberg architect Rudolf Gröschel in an economic interpretative way, as the costs to reconstruct the baroque interior with its ornate detail was unaffordable at the time.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.