Gars Abbey was founded in 768 by the cleric Boso from Salzburg for Tassilo III, Duke of Bavaria. For centuries it belonged to the archbishopric of Salzburg. The Augustinian Canons erected the present monastery building after 1122. In 1128 Bishop Conrad I of Salzburg transferred the monastery to the Augustinian Canons.
In 1648 the Swedes pillaged and devastated the town and the monastery. Under Provost Athanasius Peitlhauser the monastery was rebuilt between 1657 and 1659. The monastery wings and the Church of the Assumption were renovated by Italian artists to their present form. The pilaster church was rebuilt after 1661, one of the first Baroque churches in the region. The painted cast stone Pieta on a side altar dates from 1430, and was formerly the main altar of the church. The monastery is interesting for the relics of the martyr Felix. Ceiling paintings and an altar show the importance of this saint to the monastery.
In 1803 the Augustinian Canons were expelled as part of the Bavarian secularization program. The buildings and inventory were sold to private individuals. In 1855 the Redemptorists showed an interest in Gars Monastery, and in 1858 they formally re-opened the monastery. Between 1873 and 1894 under the Kulturkampf only three fathers and brothers were allowed to remain. After the monastery was restored in 1894 the first missionaries were sent to Brazil.
As of 2013 the monastery housed about 16 brothers and 13 priests. The brothers follow various professions including work as bakers, butchers, gardeners, carpenters and tailors. The Fathers work as ward missionaries, helping in the surrounding communities and in education. The monastery has a plant nursery that is well known in the region.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.