Reisach Priory, dedicated to Saint Theresa, was founded as Urfahrn Priory in 1731 by Johann Georg Messerer, a counsellor at the Bavarian court, and was built between 1737 and 1741 by Abraham Millauer and his son Philipp to plans by the master builder Johann Baptist Gunetzrhainer. The interior of the church is by the Munich court painter Balthasar Albrecht.
Urfahrn Priory was dissolved in 1802, during the secularisation of Bavaria. In 1836-37, after failed attempts to establish a Franciscan community in the empty buildings, it was re-founded as Reisach Priory by a small group of Carmelites from Würzburg. Since 2001 Fr. Robert Schmidbauer OCD has been the prior here.
The Carmelite church is particularly noted for its sculptured Baroque crib, created in the second half of the 18th century, and counted as one of the best in Upper Bavaria. The wooden relief carvings on the side altars, including the Altar of the Scapular by Johann Baptist Straub, are also of exceptional quality.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.