Moreruela Abbey is situated to the west of Granja de Moreruela, about 35 kilometres north of the town of Zamora close to the left bank of the Esla, a tributary of the Duero.
Before the time of the Cistercians, a monastery of the Benedictines already stood on the site, founded for them either by the Asturian King Alfonso III or by Saint Froilan, which under the patronage of Alfonso VII the Cistercians took over. The date of this takeover is often put at 1131/1133, which would make Moreruela the earliest Cistercian foundation in Spain. There is however an alternative theory which dates the establishment of the Cistercians here at 1143.
Moreruela was a daughter house of Clairvaux, and in its turn was the mother house of Nogales Abbey, also in Spain (1164), and Aguiar Abbey in Portugal (1165).
There are many remains of the abbey, although in ruins, particularly the Romanesque abbey church in the shape of a Latin cross 63 metres long, the construction of which was begun about 1170 and finished in the second quarter of the 13th century. The apse at the east end is completely preserved and has a vaulted ambulatory round a rectangular choir, with seven chapels as at Clairvaux. Also preserved are the walls of the 27 metres wide transept and of the northern aisle, and parts of the nave, once comprising three aisles and nine bays. Of the conventual buildings to the north of the church, the chapter house among others remains, although partly reconstructed.References:
Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.
The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.
The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.