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:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.