From the Guide to Ruritania, 1889 Edition (concerning the Province of Zähringen)

Zähringen (gefürstete Grafschaft Falkenhorst):

    The city of Falkenhorst is the seat of the Grafen von Falkenhorst (Counts of Falkenhorst) who rule the region known as Zähringen from their castle the Burg Falkenhorst (Falkenhorst Castle), also known as the Burg Hohenfalkenhorst (High Falkenhorst Castle) from the name of the mountain on which it is situated. The oldest portions of the castle date from the 12th century. Underneath the castle is an extensive complex of ice caverns known as the Eisgruben unter dem Hohenfalkenhorst (Ice Caverns under the Hohenfalkenhorst). The town of Falkenhorst itself is known for its 12th century Gothic church, the Falkenmünster (Falcon’s Minster), which is famous for its high spire and is also the site of the Albrecht-Karls-Universität (Albrecht Karl University), founded in 1456 by Count Albrecht Karl III of Falkenhorst. The Bailiwick of Ruritania of the Chivalric Order of Saint John of the Hospital at Jerusalem maintains a castle, the Johanniter Ordenskastell (St John’s Order Castle), which is situated above the city on the Johannesberg (John’s Mountain). Construction of the fortress was begun in 1154 by Count Gottreich Karl I of Falkenhorst, who was a commander within the Order. Since that time the Falkenhorst counts have always maintained an association with the Order. Also found in Falkenhorst is the famous 11th century Romanesque Erzabtei Sankt-Michael (Saint Michael’s Archabbey). The older portion of the city features the Augustinerpriorat Sankt Albans (Augustinian Priory of St. Alban), begun in the 13th century. Nearby is the Altsynagoge (Old Synagogue) dating back to the 15th century. The longest funicular railway in Ruritania, measuring 2.8 km, runs from Falkenhorst up to the nearby Burg Hohenfalkenhorst.


    Located on the Heilige Berg (Holy Mountain) in the Falkensee quarter of the city of Falkenhorst is the 12th century Benedictine abbey known as the Kloster Falkensee (Falkensee Abbey). Several holy relics are maintained here, including a host said to have been consecrated by Pope Gregory I in the late 6th century and relics of Saint Adalbert (c. 956 - 997). The first documented pilgrimages to Kloster Falkensee were made in 1134, when Count Berthold I of Falkenhorst encouraged his subjects to visit the chapel dedicated to Saint Osra (c.1094 - 1132), who was entombed there. The abbey is also renowned for its Klosterbrauerei Falkensee (Monastery Brewery Falkensee).


    The town of Eisenau boasts a famous son in the person of Generalfeldwachtmeister Karl Graf Niemetz von Eisenau (1761-1839), victor of the Schlacht von Aix-en-Othe (Battle of Aix-en-Othe) against the French on 22 - 23 March 1814, for which he was ennobled.


    Among the places of natural beauty located in Zähringen are the lovely Falkensee (Falcon Lake), located on the edge of the borough of Falkenhorst-Neustadt near the town quarter which bears its name; and the Faunwald (Faun Forest), which lies near the town of Falkengard in the Hallingerwald district. The Counts of Falkenhorst maintain a hunting lodge, also called Falkengard, on the edge of the forest. Here too is located
the Faunsee (Faun Lake).


    The town of Wittenberg i. Zähringen is the location of another castle belonging to the Counts of Falkenhorst, the Schloß Wittenberg (Castle Wittenberg), begun in 1240. A three story tower was added between 1367 and 1375 and the fortification was extensively rebuilt in several phases during the period between 1439 and 1539. The castle managed to survive a siege in 1625 during the Dreißigjährige Krieg (Thirty Years’ War).
    Lying in the Landkreis Bregenzerland (Rural Circle of Bregenzerland) is a rugged mountain known as the Arnsberg for which the nearby municipality of Arnsberg is named. The mountain itself is the site of the Feste Arnsberg (Arnsberg Fortress), the oldest parts of which date back to the 14th century. Formerly held by the Falkenhorst counts, the fortress was gifted to the Crown in 1645. Since the early 19th century it has served as a special facility often used for affairs of state where secrecy is of paramount importance. It is one of the most heavily guarded sites in all of Ruritania and the subject of many rumours.

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