Banz Abbey, now known as Schloss Banz, is a former Benedictine monastery. It was founded in about 1070 by Countess Alberada of Schweinfurt and her husband, Count Hermann of Habsberg-Kastl, and until the secularisation of 1803 was the oldest monastery on the upper Main. In the late Middle Ages and until 1575 only members of the nobility were accepted as monks.
After the Thirty Years' War the abbey had to be re-built. The abbots Eucharius Weiner and Kilian Düring commissioned Johann Leonhard Dientzenhofer and after his death in 1707, his brother Johann Dientzenhofer. Construction began in 1698. The church, built in of Baroque style, was consecrated in 1719. The interior is unexpectedly built, not with right angles, but with a series of ellipses. The main altar, the chancel and the statues of saints in the church and on the facade are by Balthasar Esterbauer; the ceiling frescoes are by Melchior Steidl. The choir stalls were made by the court cabinet maker and ebonist of Schönborn, Johann Georg Nesstfell.
In the second half of the 18th century Banz Abbey was known throughout the Holy Roman Empire as a place of Catholic enlightenment and for the scholarship of its monks. This did not save it from secularisation and dissolution in 1803.
In 1813 Duke Wilhelm in Bavaria, acquired the former abbey premises, which were thereafter known as Schloss Banz.
In 1933 Duke Ludwig Wilhelm in Bavaria, sold the buildings to the Community of the Holy Angels, an order dedicated to the spiritual care of expatriate Germans. Since 1978 the former monastery has been in the possession of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, an organisation closely associated with the political party the CSU in Bavaria, and is used as a conference centre. It also accommodates a collection of fossils and other curiosities, such as Egyptian mummies.
The estate of the former monastery, including vast forests, is today owned by Duke Max Emanuel's eldest daughter Sophie, Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.