Mauerbach Charterhouse is a former Carthusian monastery. Founded in 1314 by the Austrian duke Frederick the Fair and rebuilt in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Baroque monastic complex is one of the most important structures of its kind in Austria.
The monastery was plundered and set on fire by Ottoman troops during the 1529 Siege of Vienna and suffered further serious structural damage by the 1590 Neulengbach earthquake. Under Abbot Georg Fasel (1616-1631) an intensive rebuilding programme began, finishing in 1660, during which the great majority of the present-day buildings were constructed. The chronicle of the charterhouse written by Abbot Leopold Brenner was available from as early as 1669, but was not printed until 1725. Brenner had lived here from 1641 and made his profession in 1650, and was thus an eye witness of the building of the early Baroque monastery. In 1683 renewed Turkish assaults during the Battle of Vienna caused more destruction, launching a further programme of repairs and refurbishment s which finished only in 1750.
In 1782 the monastery was dissolved as 'non-productive' by Emperor Joseph II during his rationalist reforms and from 1786 the premises were used for the care of the old and incurably ill of the city of Vienna. Many structural alterations were carried out to adapt the buildings to their new function.
In 1944-45 the former monastery was put to use as an emergency hospital. Between 1945 and 1961 the charterhouse was used to house homeless people. During this period the structure was badly neglected, and allowed to fall derelict from exposure to the elements. Since 1984 the complex has housed the workshops of the Bundesdenkmalamt (Monuments Office).References:
Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".