The current Fole church was preceded by a Romanesque stone church. Of this church, the tower remains and is thus the oldest part of Fole Church, dating from ca. 1200. The Romanesque church was gradually replaced with the current, more Gothic church. During the middle of the 13th century, the choir and about half of the nave were rebuilt, and a few decades later, the rest of the nave. The rebuilt church was inaugurated in 1280.
The church has remained relatively intact since. The sacristy was redecorated in 1707, and minor alterations to the interior have been made occasionally throughout the centuries.
The church exterior have both Gothic and Romanesque elements. The tower is in its entirety Romanesque, reminiscent of the tower of nearby Bro Church. A portal, originally the choir portal, has been re-used from the earlier Romanesque stone church and now functions as the sacristy portal. The nave and the choir are however Gothic. The church lacks an apse and has a straight eastern wall with three vertical windows. One of the walls is inscribed with runes made by the locals as a sort of permanent record about their right to use a road through part of Fole.
The interior of the church has been decorated with frescos, of which fragments remain. The church does however still contain several medieval items. The baptismal font dates from the early 13th century, with the upper part painted over during the 18th century. It contains on the upper part reliefs depicting the flight into Egypt and the apostles, and on the base sculpted heads and beasts. The church also has a triumphal cross from the middle of the 13th century (painted over in the 1840s), and contains several medieval tombstones. Other furnishings are later, including the Neo-Gothic gallery (1870s), one of only a few such pieces on Gotland.References:
Hochosterwitz Castle is considered to be one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. The rock castle is one of the state's landmarks and a major tourist attraction.
The site was first mentioned in an 860 deed issued by King Louis the German of East Francia, donating several of his properties in the former Principality of Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the 11th century Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ceded the castle to the Dukes of Carinthia from the noble House of Sponheim in return for their support during the Investiture Controversy. The Sponheim dukes bestowed the fiefdom upon the family of Osterwitz, who held the hereditary office of the cup-bearer in 1209.
In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.
Over the next 30 years, the castle was badly damaged by numerous Turkish campaigns. On 5 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I handed the castle as a pledge to Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, then Bishop of Gurk. Bishop Lang undertook a substantial renovation project for the damaged castle.
About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.
Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.
A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.