Säben Abbey was established in 1687, when it was first settled by the nuns of Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg. Situated on the 'holy mountain', Säben was for centuries a centre of pilgrimage and controlled an extensive religious precinct. On the site of the present nunnery there was an earlier Roman settlement. Between the 6th century and about 960 there was a bishopric (episcopatus Sabiona) seated here. The church 'im Weinberg' dates from that time and its remains have been excavated along with a large burial ground in recent times.
Säben later became a fortress of the bishops. In the 14th and 15th centuries Säben Castle was the seat of the judges of Klausen and the centre of administration of the southern territories of the Diocese of Brixen.
A community of Benedictine nuns was established here in 1686 by the local priest, in premises at the foot of the mountain. The abbey church was dedicated by Johann Franz, Count Khuen von Belasi, then Bishop of Brixen.
Although the nunnery was repeatedly looted during the Napoleonic wars and stripped of its assets during the secularization in 1803, the community survived although in an impoverished state through the 19th century until it gradually revived from about 1880, when, during the period of the Kulturkampf in Germany (1871–1878), the monks of Beuron Abbey were in exile in the county of Tyrol and were in contact with the nuns at Säben. At this time new premises were built in the ruins of the castle on the mountain. The nuns of Säben adopted the Beuronese mode of life, although the abbey was formally accepted into the Beuronese Congregation of the Benedictine Confederation only in 1974.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.