Reichersberg Abbey was founded in the 11th century, when nobleman Wernher von Reichersberg converted his possessions into a monastery. It has been owned by Augustinian Canons since then. The monastery flourished under the guidance of Gerhoh, the third Provost and an eminent theologian. While there, Gerhoh composed his commentary on the Psalms between 1144 and 1148, making much use of the earlier work of Gilbert of Poitiers.
The archbishop of Salzburg gave the abbey a pastoral area on what was then the Hungarian border, where the canons are active to this day. In the mid 16th century master Ulrich Lufftenecker became a teacher at the monastery, and taught students choral singing. Four printed choir books have survived from the second half of the 16th century.
The original monastery was relatively small, built in Romanesque-Gothic style. In 1624 it was destroyed by a fire. During the next years the current large Baroque replacement was erected. The outer courtyard of the monastery has a marble fountain crowned with a figure of St. Michael, the patron of the monastery, made by Thomas Schwanthaler. The Munich court painter Christian Wink completed the frescoes of the church in 1778-79.
In 1779 the monastery was assigned to Austria and thus escaped the secularization of Bavarian monasteries. During the Napoleonic Wars it had to struggle for its existence, but normal monastic activities resumed in 1817. During World War II the monastery was forced to provide a home for a flying school, but avoided being closed down.
Today Reichersberg Abbey has been renovated and is now a cultural center of the Innviertels. The monastery has an extensive library, holding 55,000 volumes. It holds a large collection of religious art, which can be viewed during guided tours. The monastery holds exhibitions, seminars and garden days. It has a shop, a wine shop and restaurant.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.