Scheyern Abbey was established in 1119 as the final site of the community originally founded in around 1077 at Bayrischzell by Countess Haziga of Aragon, wife of Otto II, Count of Scheyern, the ancestors of the Wittelsbachs. The first monks were from Hirsau Abbey, of which the new monastery was a priory, founded as it was against the background of the Investiture Controversy and the Hirsau Reforms. The original site proved unsuitable for a number of reasons, including difficulties with water supply, and the monastery moved in 1087 to Fischbachau. When that site too proved unsuitable, they moved to Petersberg, in 1104.
When Haziga, the widowed Countess of Scheyern, left Burg Scheyern in 1119 for Burg Wittelsbach, the castle from which the family subsequently took their name, the old castle, constructed in about 940, was given to the monks at Petersberg and became Scheyern Abbey, independent of Hirsau.
Scheyern was considered a Wittelsbach family monastery, which they used as a place of burial until 1253. The Wittelsbachs also retained the office of Vogt.
The dedication is to the Holy Cross and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary: the abbey has had in its possession since 1180 a relic of the Holy Cross from Jerusalem, and is still today a place of pilgrimage for this reason.
By the 13th century the abbey had already gained a reputation for its school of illumination and its scriptorium.
It suffered particularly severely in the Thirty Years' War and did not participate afterwards in the Baroque revival to the same extent as other monasteries in Bavaria. In the 18th century however it was refurbished in the style of the Rococo.
In 1802 the monastery came under the governance of the territorial rulers, and in 1803 was dissolved as part of the secularisation of Bavaria. The buildings were sold, and changed hands several times in a short period. In 1838 however under Ludwig I of Bavaria the monastery was re-established, and re-settled by monks from Metten Abbey; in 1843 it regained the status of an abbey. Between 1876 and 1878 the church, now serving both the community and the parish, was restored to the Romanesque style.
Scheyern now also possesses a Byzantine Institute, specialising in the works of Saint John of Damascus. It also enjoys historical links with Hungary.
Shortly after the re-establishment in 1838, a grammar school was opened. In 1939 all schools run by religious orders were closed, including Scheyern Abbey's. After World War II a humanistic Gymnasium was opened here. It was replaced however in 1970 by the Schyrengymnasium in Pfaffenhofen. Once the transfer to the new school was complete, the monastery set up a residential high school for vocational training, the Staatliche Berufsoberschule, a type of school which was considered very experimental at the time. It opened in 1976 and is still in operation.References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.