Aura Abbey was a house of the Benedictine Order located at Aura an der Saale. Built on the site of an earlier castle, and dedicated to Saints Laurence and Gregory, it was founded by Bishop Otto of Bamberg between about 1108 and 1113; the foundation charter is dated 1122. The new foundation was settled by monks from Hirsau Abbey. The first abbot was Ekkehard of Aura, a monk from Bamberg, famous as the continuer of the Weltchronik of Frutolf of Michaelsberg. The Vögte were the Counts of Henneberg, although later the Bishop of Würzburg seems to have acquired some authority here.
In 1469 the abbey joined the Bursfelde Congregation, but suffered repeated disasters in the 16th century, including almost complete destruction by a rioting mob in 1525, and after rebuilding, a second destruction in 1553 during the second campaign of Albert Alcibiades, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach. It was finally dissolved in 1564 and its assets transferred to the exchequer of the Diocese of Würzburg.
An attempt at a revival was started in 1617 by Prince-Bishop Gottfried von Aschhausen, but the project was abandoned at his death in 1622, leaving some impressive remains of the unfinished church.
Very little is left of the original monastery, except for the former abbey church of St. Laurence, which is still a significant Romanesque building, although with considerable alterations and additions from the 17th and 18th centuries.References:
The Château Comtal (Count’s Castle) is a medieval castle within the Cité of Carcassonne, the largest city in Europe with its city walls still intact. The Château Comtal has a strong claim to be called a 'Cathar Castle'. When the Catholic Crusader army arrived in 1209 they first attacked Raymond-Roger Trencavel's castrum at Bèziers and then moved on to his main stronghold at Carcassonne.
The castle with rectangular shape is separated from the city by a deep ditch and defended by two barbicans. There are six towers curtain walls.
The castle was restored in 1853 by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. It was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.