Seitenstetten Abbey

Seitenstetten, Austria

Seitenstetten Abbey was founded in 1112 by Udalschalk, a relative of Bishop Ulrich of Passau, to which he gave all his estates as an endowment. In 1114 the new foundation was settled by monks from Göttweig Abbey. Bishop Ulrich dedicated the church in 1116 and granted the abbey the large parish of Aschbach. In 1142 it also received the large parish of Wolfsbach. Out of these two original parishes were formed the fourteen modern parishes for which the abbey is still responsible.

Despite many setbacks, including two serious fires and many disputes over property, the abbey gradually developed. In 1347 the community had 22 members. After a lengthy period of decline Abbot Benedikt I, formerly prior of the Schottenstift in Vienna, introduced the Melk Reforms at Seitenstetten, thus bringing about a revival in its spiritual and cultural life. This abbot had a chapel built and dedicated in 1440 on the Sonntagberg and so established the Sonntagberger Pilgrimage under the control and protection of the abbey.

Thereafter the abbey was hard hit by the Hungarian disturbances associated with Matthias Corvinus, the Turkish taxes and above all the Reformation; the number of monks declined sharply.

Abbot Christoph Held (1572-1602) started the beginning of spiritual revival with the powerful support of the Imperial Council. Under the abbots that followed, the monastery got its Baroque appearance. After the Thirty Years' War did Abbot Gabriel Sauer (1648-74) finally succeed in stabilising the abbey economically and then in bringing about a true religious renewal.

Abbot Benedikt II Abelzhauser (1687-1717) commissioned Jakob Prandtauer to build the magnificent Pilgrimage Church of the Holy Trinity on the Sonntagberg. The early Gothic abbey church was lavishly refurbished, including work by Franz Joseph Feuchtmayer. Between 1718 and 1747 the Baroque conventual buildings that still stand today were constructed. Ceiling frescoes in the Marble Hall (1735) and the library (1740) were painted by Paul Troger.

After the difficulties of the anti-monastic policies of Emperor Joseph II and of the Napoleonic wars, the abbey gradually regained its strength through the 19th century, until the time of Abbot Theodor Springer (1920-58), who not only brought the abbey safely through the economic crisis after World War I but also through the National Socialist period and World War II without its being dissolved, as so many other monasteries were.

Besides the major works of art and architecture mentioned previously, there are also the Romanesque Knights' Chapel, the picture gallery, and the garden, which contains about 110 different types of rose, mostly historical.



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Founded: 1112
Category: Religious sites in Austria

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User Reviews

ted kay_music (4 years ago)
Lisa und Wolfi Matschiner (5 years ago)
Neo Trucker (5 years ago)
Worthy to come here and feel the spirit of silence and tranquility, no spiritual service though.
Suvendu Das (5 years ago)
Seitenstetten is located on the Voralpenbundesstraße (122) approximately in the middle between Amstetten and Steyr. The own station "St. Peter-Seitenstetten "(Westbahnstrecke) is about 2.5 km from the village. 1112 founded Udalschalk - or Udiskalk - at the present place a monastery, to which he dedicated his entire inheritance in Seitenstetten, in Grünbach, Heft and in silence (in today's Upper Austria). 1114 Benedictine from Göttweig moved into the new foundation. In 1116, Bishop Ulrich von Passau, a relative of Udalschalk, inaugurated the new collegiate church and gave the monastery the extended parish of Aschbach. 1142 received the pin also the large parish Wolfsbach. From these two large parishes went out all fourteen parishes, which still cares for the pen today. Around 1180, Archbishop Wichmann of Magdeburg gave the pens the extended forests on the Ybbs, with the order to build a cell there and to celebrate church services. The first reference to a monastery school in Seitenstetten dates back to the founding century. Despite some setbacks by two monastic fires and property disputes, the monastery took a gradual upswing. In 1347 the convent had 22 members. After a long period of decline, Benedict I, who had formerly been Schottenprior in Vienna, also supported the milking reform in Seitenstettten and brought about an upswing in religious and cultural life. This abbot had a chapel built on the Sonntagberg in 1440 and consecrated, thus establishing the Sonntagberg pilgrimage under the care of the abbey. The Hungary storm of Matthias Corvinus, the Turks taxes, but especially the Reformation, put the sift hard. The number of brothers decreased rapidly. Only abbot Christoph Held (1572/1602), strongly supported by the imperial monastery council, initiated the spiritual rebirth. The following abbots introduced Baroque art. Bavaria and Swabia increased the membership of the convent. But it was only after the Thirty Years' War that Abbot Gabriel Sauer (1648/74) managed to consolidate the monastery economically and to religiously bring the convent to a climax. Even a big building activity could start now: Abbot Benedict II Abelzhauser (1687/1717) had Jakob Prandtauer the magnificent pilgrimage church to the Hlst. Building Trinity on the Sonntagberg. 1718 to 1747, the current Baroque monastery was built. The funds for this were provided above all by the copper mine in Radmer (Styria) and the brass mill Reichraming (Upper Austria). After the difficult times of Josephinism and the French wars, the monastery reached its peak at the turn of the century. Abbot Theodor Springer (1920/58) led the pen out of the economic crisis after the First World War and rescued the pen without lifting by the Second World War. Under Abbot Albert Kurzwernhart (1962/84) extensive renovations were carried out on Sonntagberg, in the other parish churches, but above all in the collegiate church! From 1985-1991, under Abbot Berthold Heigl (1984-2013), the entire monastery building was restored from the cellar to the roof, and from 1987 to the present day the entire Meierhof was built in various stages
Monika Szucs (5 years ago)
Nagyon szép gótikus katolikus templom bencés rendházzal
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