Mallersdorf was formerly a monastery of the Benedictine Order and is now a Franciscan convent in Mallersdorf-Pfaffenberg.
The monastery, dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist, was founded in 1107 by Heinrich of Kirchberg, a ministerialis of Niedermünster in Regensburg, and settled by monks from either the monastery of Michelsberg in Bamberg or St. Emmeram's Abbey in Regensburg.
Under Abbot Eppo (1122-1143) the reforming influences of the monasteries of St. Georgen im Schwarzwald and of Hirsau had a significant impact. At this time the community was subordinated to Otto I, Bishop of Bamberg and placed under the direct protection of Pope Innocent II (1130-1143). In 1136 Abbot Eppo dissolved the double monastery (i.e., including both men and women) which seems to have been there until that time; the women's convent was transferred to nearby Eitting. In the 12th century there was church building in the romanesque style, in the 13th a period of spiritual awakening, and in the 14th the reforms led by Kastl Abbey. In the mid 16th century the abbey narrowly escaped dissolution. The monastic grammar school enjoyed an excellent reputation.
The abbey was finally dissolved in 1803 during the secularisation of Bavaria. The assets and estates were auctioned off. The monastery buildings were used from 1807 as offices for local officials.
Since 1869 Franciscan sisters have lived at the site.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.