Oberschönenfeld Abbey is a Cistercian nunnery in Gessertshausen. As early as around 1186 there were Beguines, or a similar community of women, on this site. In about 1211 they formed a more structured community which by 1248, when the church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, had been formally constituted as a Cistercian nunnery, accounted a daughter house of Kaisheim Abbey; its founders were the local nobleman Volkmar von Kemnat and Hartmann von Dillingen, Bishop of Augsburg, of the family of the Counts of Dillingen.
Between 1718 and 1721 the monastic buildings were reconstructed in their present Baroque form by the master builder Franz Beer, as was the church later.
Until 1803 the abbey was reichsunmittelbar and exercised territorial lordship over the villages of Gessertshausen and Altenmünster.
In 1803 the abbey was dissolved in the course of the secularisation of Bavaria. The nuns were not expelled, however, and the nunnery was reopened in 1836 by King Ludwig I of Bavaria as a priory, which was made an abbey again in 1918.
In the stables, unused since 1972, the Bezirk Schwaben established the Swabian Folklore and Crafts Museum in 1984. Here are also the nature reserve house of the Augsburg-Western Woods Nature Reserve and the Swabian Gallery (for revolving exhibitions).References:
The Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg is situated in a strategic area on a rocky spur overlooking the Upper Rhine Plain, it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned. From 1900 to 1908 it was rebuilt at the behest of the German kaiser Wilhelm II. Today it is a major tourist site, attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year.
The first records of a castle built by the Hohenstaufens date back to 1147. The fortress changed its name to Koenigsburg (royal castle) around 1157. The castle was handed over to the Tiersteins by the Habsburgs following its destruction in 1462. They rebuilt and enlarged it, installing a defensive system designed to withstand artillery fire.
The fortification work accomplished over the 15th century did not suffice to keep the Swedish artillery at bay during the Thirty Years War, and the defences were overrun.