In 748 Mondsee Abbey was founded by Odilo, Duke of Bavaria. The abbey tradition was that the first monks came from Monte Cassino in Italy. In 788, after the fall of Duke Tassilo III, Mondsee became an Imperial abbey and over the centuries acquired extensive property. Around 800 the Codex Millenarius, an illustrated Latin book of the Gospels was written at the abbey. In 831 King Louis the Pious gave the monastery to Regensburg Cathedral.
It was not until 1142 that it regained its independence, under Abbot Conrad II, otherwise Blessed Conrad of Mondsee. Conrad, formerly a monk of Siegburg Abbey, had been abbot of Mondsee since 1127, and was extremely successful in defending and regaining the rights and possessions of the monastery, to the extent that in 1145 he was murdered by a group of nobles at Oberwang nearby. He was venerated as a martyr and declared Blessed.
Conrad was succeeded as abbot by Blessed Walter of Mondsee (died 17 May 1158), long remembered as a model by the community for his exemplary striving after virtue. He was buried in St. Peter's chapel in the abbey church.
In 1506 possession of the Mondseeland passed from Bavaria to Austria. In 1514 Abbot Wolfgang Haberl established the abbey grammar school. After a period of decline during the Reformation and the consequent disturbances, the abbey entered a new period of prosperity. Under Abbot Bernhard Lidl (1727-73) and especially in connection with the celebration of the thousandth anniversary of the foundation, there was extensive re-building of the church and the monastic premises. From 1773 the abbot was Opportunus II Dunkl, who was the last abbot of Mondsee: in 1791 the abbey was dissolved by Emperor Leopold II.
During the Napoleonic period the Mondseeland reverted to Bavaria for a few years. During that time, in 1810, the Bavarian Field Marshal Prince Karl Philipp von Wrede acquired the abandoned monastery (along with the nearby abbeys of Suben and Gleink), and used it as a castle. Wrede remained the owner even after the return of the territory to Austria and significantly developed the locality, for example by the construction of roads and the establishment of local cheese production. In 1905, on the death of Princess Ignazia von Wrede, Mondsee passed to the Counts Almeida, whose descendants sold it in 1985.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.