Schönrain Priory was a house of the Benedictine Order located near Lohr in the Spessart. There is a legend that it was originally founded in the Carolingian period, in about 750, by Saint Lioba, and some have argued that a few traces of architecture from that period survive. However, firm information on this place is available only from the 11th century, when the monastery, with some property to endow it, was given by Counts Ludwig and Beringer of Sangerhausen to Hirsau Abbey, against the background of the Investiture Controversy and the Hirsau Reforms. It was duly re-founded as a priory of Hirsau.
The Vögte (or lay stewards) were the Counts of Rieneck, kin of the founders, who persistently over the next centuries tried to acquire the property for themselves. Eventually, after severe damages sustained during the German Peasants' War, the then Abbot of Hirsau dissolved the monastery at Schönrain and sold the premises to the Rieneck family, who re-built it as a residence.
The site, after a number of descents, passed to the Prince-Bishops of Würzburg, who used it as accommodation for their forestry officials. It was secularised in 1802 and continued in use by the forestry officials of the Kingdom of Bavaria. When their headquarters was moved elsewhere, the buildings at Schönrain were stripped for building materials, and the site has been in ruins since that time.
Since 1973 the site and the ruins have been under the protection of a local environmental and historical preservation group, the Lohrer Heimatfreunde.
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.