Herzogenburg is an Augustinian monastery founded in 1112 by Ulrich I, Bishop of Passau, at St. Georgen an der Traisen. In 1244 because of frequent flooding it was moved up-river towards Herzogenburg. From 1714 the buildings were refurbished in the Baroque style by Jakob Prandtauer, Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Josef Munggenast. The monastery was able to survive the dissolutions enforced by Emperor Joseph II in the late 18th century. Until 1783 the monastery was in the Diocese of Passau, afterwards in the Diocese of St. Pölten.
The monastery church was established in about 1014 by Emperor Henry II and is dedicated to Saint Stephen the Protomartyr (after the patron of Passau Cathedral). In 1112 bishop Ulrich I gave the benefice of Herzogenburg to his newly founded monastery at St. Georgen, which moved to Herzogenburg in 1244.
There are few remains of the Gothic church (the portal and the second storey of the tower). The architect of the present church building was Franz Munggenast. The rebuilt church was dedicated on 2 October 1785 and was the last significant Baroque church built in Austria.
The emphasis of the collection is on late Gothic works such as panel paintings, sculptures and stained glass windows. The great banqueting hall, the treasury and the monastic library, as well as the coin cabinet, underline the art-historical importance of the priory in Lower Austria. The Baroque picture gallery is also notable, and does not only contain religious works. A particular curiosity is a well-preserved Roman helmet, dating from about 150 A.D., which was found in a gravel pit in the vicinity.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.