Gleink Abbey was founded in the early 12th century by the local nobleman, Arnhalm I of Glunich, who gave his castle for conversion to a monastery. The premises, dedicated to Saint Andrew, were ready for occupation in the 1120s. Gleink was settled from Garsten Abbey. The abbey suffered fire damage in 1220, 1275 and 1313, but narrowly escaped destruction at the hands of the invading Hungarians in the late 15th century and the marauding Turks in 1532, although they caused devastation in the surrounding area. Later in the 16th century the Reformation and the spread of Lutheranism caused more difficulties, a trend which only began to reverse from 1575 with the appointment of Abbot Georg Andreas (1575–1585) from Niederaltaich Abbey. The abbey also suffered damage during the Thirty Years' War.
From the later 17th century however more favourable circumstances allowed the development and refurbishment of the premises in the Baroque style, principally associated at Gleink with Abbot Rupert II Freysauf von Neudegg (1709–1735). Abbot Wolfgang Hofmayr, well known as a preacher and a professor in the University of Salzburg, took office in 1762. He was the last abbot: the monastery was dissolved under Joseph II on 21 May 1784.
After a short period of use as a barracks, the buildings were given to the Bishop of Linz as a summer residence. In 1832, at the invitation of the then bishop, a community of Salesian Sisters from Vienna took up residence. No new novices entered the community however after about 1950, and the convent was eventually closed in 1977. Since the dissolution the parochial duties had been carried out by parish priests, but from 1950 were undertaken by the Missionary Order of the Heart of Jesus, who settled and run a boys' home here ever since. The premises today also accommodate a museum of religious objects, ecclesiastical embroidery and so on.
The continuing difficulties faced by the abbey were reflected in the depleted state of its library, which in 1599 contained only 110 printed books and 150 manuscripts. However, in the relative prosperity of the period from the mid-17th century onwards, the library grew, acquiring among other things the manuscript of the Gleinker Weltchronik. It is an illuminated manuscript describing a history of the world based on the Bible. Produced in the mid-14th century, it contains an inscription placing it at Gleink in 1712. This manuscript is now Codex 472 of the Linz University Library.References:
Soave castle was built in 934 to protect the area against the Hungarian invasions. It was remodelled by Cansignorio of the Scaliger family in the mid-1300s. in 1365 Cansignorio had the town walls erected and the Town hall was built in the same year.
The castle underwent various vicissitudes until, having lost its strategic importance, it was sold on the private market in 1596. In 1830 it was inherited by Giulio Camuzzoni who restored the manor and in particular the surroundings walls (with is twenty-four towers), the battlements and living-quarters.
Soave castle is a typical medieval military edifice, commanding the neighbourhood of the city from the Tenda Hill. It comprises a mastio (donjon) and three lines of walls forming three courts of different size. The outer line, with a gate and a draw bridge, is the most recent, built by the Venetians in the 15th century. It houses the remains of a small church from the 10th century.
The second and larger court, the first of the original castle, is called della Madonna for a fresco portraying St. Mary (1321). Another fresco is visible after the door leading to the inner court, and portrays a Scaliger soldier. The mastio is the most impressive feature of the castle. Bones found within showed it was used also as prison and place of torture.
The House called del Capitano (the Scaliger commander) houses Roman coins, weapons parts, medals and other ancient remains found during the most recent restoration. Adjacent is a bedroom with a 13th-century fresco with St. Mary and Madeleine and a dining room with medieval kitchenware. Another room houses the portraits of the most famous Scaliger figures: Mastino I, Cangrande, Cansignorio and Taddea da Carrara, wife of Mastino II; the portrait of Dante Alighieri testify an alleged sojourn of the poet in the castle.