Schloss Rheydt is a Renaissance palace in Mönchengladbach. Over the years the building has been the family seat of various noble families, including the Bylandt-Rheydt dynasty that ruled over Rheydt for over 300 years and gave the palace its present look.
Originally a castle dating from 1060, the palace has evolved over the years to become the palace it is today. The castle's first documented mention dates to 1180, made by the Cologne Archbishop Philip I when he mentioned revenues that were to be collected from the then castle owner, the Lord of Rheydt, in his correspondence. The first Lord of the castle mentioned by name is William of Heppendorf.
Otto von Bylandt had the existing exterior facade created by Maximilian Pasqualini (1534–1572), son of the Italian architect Alessandro Pasqualini. Pasqualini renovated in the style of his father, adding casemates and bastionsand creating a moat around the palace. Pasqualini also considerably renovated the interior by adding fireplaces, statues and various paintings. Most of Pasqualini's work remains in a very good condition.
Throughout the 19th century the palace changed hands many times, however the owners were unable to maintain the palace due to the upkeep costs. Gradually the palace fell into disrepair. The palace was purchased by the town of Rheydt from the last private owner in 1917. Since then the palace has undergone some restoration (1988–1993) and vast parts of Schloss Rheydt have been converted into museum areas and reopened.References:
Sweetheart Abbey was a Cistercian monastery, founded in 1275 by Dervorguilla of Galloway in memory of her husband John de Balliol. His embalmed heart, in a casket of ivory and silver, was buried alongside her when she died; the monks at the Abbey then renamed the Abbey in tribute to her. Their son, also John, became king of Scotland but his reign was tragic and short. The depredations suffered by the Abbey in subsequent periods, have caused both the graves to be lost. The abbey, built in deep-red, local sandstone, was founded as a daughter house to Dundrennan Abbey; this Novum Monasterium (New Monastery), became known as the New Abbey.
The immediate abbey precincts extended to 120,000 m2 and sections of the surrounding wall can still be seen today. The Cistercian order, also known as the White Monks because of the white habit, over which they wore a black scapular or apron, built many great abbeys after their establishment around 1100. Like many of their abbeys, the New Abbey's interests lay not only in prayer and contemplation but in the farming and commercial activity of the area, making it the centre of local life. The abbey ruins dominate the skyline today and one can only imagine how it and the monks would have dominated early medieval life as farmers, agriculturalists, horse and cattle breeders. Surrounded by rich and fertile grazing and arable land, they became increasingly expert and systematic in their farming and breeding methods. Like all Cistercian abbeys, they made their mark, not only on the religious life of the district but on the ways of local farmers and influenced agriculture in the surrounding areas.
The village which stands next to the ruins today, is now known as New Abbey. At the other end of the main street is Monksmill, a corn mill. Although the present buildings date from the late eighteenth century, there was an earlier mill built by and for the monks of the abbey which serviced the surrounding farms.