The former Cistercian monastery in Ebrach is a famous and popular destination. Having a wonderful and unique rose window, the Gothic church is one of the region’s great highlights, along with its Baroque monastic buildings.
Ebrach was probably the most important front post for the cultural and spiritual development of the regions west for Bamberg and the Steigerwald area. The abbey, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Nicholas, was founded in 1126 or 1127 in the bishopric of Würzburg by Conrad III of Germany, his consort Gertrude, who at her death in 1146 was buried here, and various Frankish nobles, including Berno and Richwin. It was settled by twelve monks from Morimond Abbey in Burgundy, under the first abbot, Adam of Ebrach.
This monastery was the third Cistercian abbey in Germany and the oldest and most important in Franconia. Sponsors and patrons of Ebrach abbey at that time were the prince bishops of Wuerzburg and the noblemen and patricians from the country and municipalities that surrounded the monastery. The great Franconian architects Leonhard Dientzenhofer, Josef Greising and Balthasar Neumann designed the Baroque grounds of the former Cistercian abbey. Luckily they maintained the Gothic church with its wonderful rose window.
In 1803 the monastery was secularized. The abbey church became the local parish church.References:
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.