Plankstetten Abbey was founded in 1129 as a private monastery of the bishops of Eichstätt by Count Ernst of Hirschberg and his brother Gebhard of Hirschberg, Bishop of Eichstätt. The Romanesque crypt remains from the time of the foundation.
After the decline in monastic standards in the 15th century, the abbey was reformed by Abbot Ulrich IV Dürner (1461–94), who also founded the brewery. The abbey was badly damaged during the German Peasants' War (1525) and again in the Thirty Years' War (1618–48).
Major buildings works in the Baroque style were undertaken from the end of the 17th century. Under Abbot Romanus Dettinger (1694–1703), he created the entrance gateway with the abbot's lodging above it, the Prelates' Hall and the Banqueting Hall, as well as the corner tower on the way to the inner courtyard. The next abbot, Dominikus II Heuber (1704–11), continued the building works with the move of the sacristy and the construction of the new brewery (now the library).
Later in the century, Abbot Dominikus IV Fleischmann (1757–92) undertook the refurbishment of the abbey church. The crossing chapels are due to him; their stucco work was carried out by Johann Jakob Berg, stucco master to the court of Eichstätt. Dominikus IV was also responsible for the guesthouse opposite the main gateway.
In 1806, in the course of the secularisation of Bavaria, the monastery was dissolved and the buildings and estates auctioned off. As early as 1856, there were plans to re-found the abbey, but these came to nothing, as the government authorities refused to give the necessary consents.
Finally, in 1904, thanks to the financial support of the Barons Cramer-Klett, Plankstetten was re-settled as a priory of Scheyern Abbey and was raised again to the status of abbey in 1917. In 1958, a 'Realschule' with a boarding house was opened in Bavaria. The school closed in 1988. This caused the abbey to re-examine their role and possible options, and the community now runs a training centre, a monastery shop, a farm, a nursery for plants, a butchery and a bakery, which have been organic since 1994. The boarding facilities are now used as a guesthouse.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.