One of Tirol’s true architectural gems is the splendid Cistercian Abbey of Stams, founded in 1273 by Count Meinhard II of Gorizia-Tyrol.
During the 16th-century Protestant Reformation and German Peasants' War the monastic community decayed. In the course of the 1552 rebellion against Emperor Charles V, the premises were plundered by the troops of Elector Maurice of Saxony; even the grave of Maurice' brother Severinus was destroyed. The monastery was largely rebuilt in its present-day Baroque style from the early 17th century onwards, including Wessobrunner stuccowork by Franz Xaver Feuchtmayer.
Set in pristine grounds, the monumental façade is easily recognized by its pair of silver cupolas at the front. The exuberant interiors can be admired within a guided tour: Crane your neck to marvel at ceilings adorned with rich stuccowork and elaborate frescoes and view elaborate iron grilles in the collegiate church. Among the Monastery’s most impressive possessions are Bernardi Hall, the Chapel of the Holy Blood and the “Prelates' Staircase”. Afterwards, you are strongly recommended to visit the Abbey's shop that offers a unique range of goods from homemade jams and honey to distinct monastic drinks and produce.References:
Tyniec Benedictine abbey was founded by King Casimir the Restorer probably around 1044. Casimir decided to rebuild the newly established Kingdom of Poland, after a Pagan rebellion and a disastrous Czech raid of Duke Bretislaus I (1039). The Benedictines, invited to Tyniec by the King, were tasked with restoring order as well as cementing the position of the State and the Church. First Tyniec Abbot was Aaron, who became the Bishop of Kraków. Since there is no conclusive evidence to support the foundation date as 1040, some historians claim that the abbey was founded by Casimir the Restorer’ son, King Boleslaw II the Generous.
In the second half of the 11th century, a complex of Romanesque buildings was completed, consisting of a basilica and the abbey. In the 14th century, it was destroyed in Tatar and Czech raids, and in the 15th century it was rebuilt in Gothic style. Further remodelings took place in the 17th and 18th centuries, first in Baroque, then in Rococo style. The abbey was partly destroyed in the Swedish invasion of Poland, and soon afterwards was rebuilt, with a new library. Further destruction took place during the Bar Confederation, when Polish rebels turned the abbey into their fortress.
In 1816, Austrian authorities liquidated the abbey, and in 1821-1826, it was the seat of the Bishop of Tyniec, Grzegorz Tomasz Ziegler. The monks, however, did not return to the abbey until 1939, and in 1947, remodelling of the neglected complex was initiated. In 1968, the Church of St. Peter and Paul was once again named the seat of the abbot. The church itself consists of a Gothic presbytery and a Baroque main nave. Several altars were created by an 18th-century Italian sculptor Francesco Placidi. The church also has a late Baroque pulpit by Franciszek Jozef Mangoldt.