The Old Parish Church of Gries contains several precious works of art. Some parts of the original Romanesque church are still preserved, as parts of the walls of the tower and nave. There has probably been a settlement in the area since Roman times.
The Gothic, polygonal choir was built in 1414. During the course of the 16th century the Romanesque church was rebuilt. Star-shaped vaults were inserted in the nave, and in 1529 a church porch, also with star-shaped vaults, were built. The tower also received its pointed spire at this time. The chapel dedicated to Saint Erasmus was finished already in 1519.
In 1788, the church lost its position as parish church of Gries. The Muri-Gries Abbey from now on instead served this purpose. The church is surrounded by the old cemetery of the Parish, which since 1922 is closed for new graves. Among the people buried here, Austrian admiral and explorer Bernhard von Wüllerstorf-Urbair is among the more well-known.
The old parish church contains two pieces of art of high value. The one is a Romanesque crucifix, dating from circa 1200 and probably made abroad (possibly northern France)
The other is a late Gothic, carved wooden altarpiece made by Michael Pacher. Pacher made the altarpiece between 1471 and 1475. During the Baroque era, the altarpiece was considered out of date and replaced with a Baroque high altar. Pacher's altarpiece was placed in the St. Erasmus' chapel of the church. It has remained there since; it has however lost its wings, its predella, its top and other details.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.