A monastic cell existed in Dorfbeuern as early as 736 or thereabouts, referred to in the Aachen Monastery Register in 817. After the Hungarian wars, reconstruction began in 977 with an endowment from Emperor Otto II. More times of crisis came upon the abbey with the fire of 1346, mismanagement of the prebendal income and the effects of the Reformation.
From the 17th century however Michaelbeuern began a long period of prosperity, which led to ambitious building works, for example the Baroque high altar of 1691 in the abbey church, by Meinrad Guggenbichler and Johann Michael Rottmayr. At this time more than twenty-five monks of Michaelbeuern gained their doctorates at the Benedictine University of Salzburg. The community also took on many pastoral responsibilities in the surrounding parishes. During the National Socialist period the monks were expelled, but returned after World War II. The abbey church, re-romanised, was re-dedicated in 1950.
The abbey today is a thriving Benedictine community, well known as an educational and cultural centre. The abbey runs a school and owns different business like a farm, a district heating plant, a biogas plant and a participation in a brewery (Augustiner Bräu Kloster Mülln).References:
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.