Edelstetten monastery, dedicated to Saints John the Baptist and St. Paul was founded in 1126. According to the tradition the founder and first abbess was Mechthild an Augustinian choir woman. Mechthild of Dießen arrived in 1153 and was appointed abbess by the Bishop of Edelstetten to reform the pin. However, after six years, she returned unsuccessful back there. In 1460, the monastery was incorporated into the Margraviate Burgau. Buildings were destroyed three times. The first time in the 14th century, the second time in 1525 during the Peasants War and the third time in the Thirty Years' War, in 1632 by the Swedes.
The present Baroque style building was built in the heyday of the monastery, approximately from 1680 to 1725. It was designed by the architect Michael Thumb. In the period 1709–1712 the south wing of the monastery, the present church of St. John Baptist and John the Evangelist, was designed by Father Christoph Vogt from the Benedictine monastery of Ottobeuren. Completion of the interior lasted until well into the second half of the 18th century.
In 1783, the monastery was raised to the status of imperial abbey. In 1803 the Abbey was given to the Prince Ligne dominion Edelstetten as compensation for the loss of the county Fagnolle in Hainault. Then in 1804/1805 it passed to Prince Nikolaus II. Esterházy de Galantha and it remains in his family today.
The interiors of many rooms from the 18th century are decorated with significant stucco work. An example is the Chinese Hall. The Abbey church is still the parish church of Edelstetten town. while the former chapter house museum. The Abbey crib is decorated with fresco paintings of biblical scenes. The seven scenes are: Adoration of the Shepherds, Adoration of the Magi, Presentation in the Temple, Massacre of the Innocents, house in Nazareth, the twelve year old Jesus in the Temple and Wedding at Cana.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.