Engelberg Abbey

Engelberg, Switzerland

Engelberg Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in Engelberg, Canton of Obwalden. Founded in 1120 by Count Blessed Conrad of Seldenburen, with the first abbot being Blessed Adelhelm, a monk of St. Blaise's Abbey in the Black Forest, under whom the founder himself received the habit and ended his days there as a monk. Numerous and extensive rights and privileges were granted to the new monastery by various popes and emperors, amongst the earliest of these being Pope Callistus II in 1124, and the Emperor Henry IV. The abbey was placed under the immediate jurisdiction of the Holy See, which condition continued until the formation of the Swiss Congregation in 1602, when Engelberg united with the other monasteries of Switzerland and became subject to a president and general chapter.

In spiritual matters the abbots of Engelberg exercised quasi-episcopal jurisdiction over all their vassals and dependents, including the town which sprang up around the walls of the abbey, and also enjoyed the right of collationto all the parishes of the Canton. In temporal matters they had supreme and absolute authority over a large territory, embracing one hundred and fifteen towns and villages, which were incorporated under the abbatial rule by a Bull of Pope Gregory IX in 1236. These and other rights they enjoyed until the French Revolution, in 1798, when most of them were taken away. The prominent position in Switzerland which the abbey occupied for so many centuries was seriously threatened by the religious and political disturbances of the Reformation period, especially by the rapid spread of the teachings of Zwingli, and for a time its privileges suffered some curtailment.

The troubles and vicissitudes, however, through which it passed, were happily brought to an end by the wise rule of Abbot Benedict Sigrist in the 17th century, who is justly called the restorer of his monastery. Alienated possessions and rights were recovered by him and the good work he began was continued by his successors, under whom monastic discipline and learning have flourished with renewed vigour. The library, which is said to have contained over twenty thousand volumes and two hundred choice manuscripts, was unfortunately pillaged by the French in 1798. Ironically, in the spirit of learning and preservation of knowledge, the library contains to this day a complete set of the writings of Martin Luther. The abbey buildings were almost entirely destroyed by fire in 1729 but were rebuilt in a substantial, if not very beautiful, style and so remain to the present day.

Since 1851, there exists the Boarding School of the Abbey Engelberg, which was first performed by a secular rector since 2009. 2001, the Academia Engelberg Foundation was founded.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1120
Category: Religious sites in Switzerland

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Maria Alice Keller (44 days ago)
Great tour given by a very friendly, knowledgeable and talkative monk. We really enjoyed our time there. The church is sensational and definitely worth a visit.
Dave Arazmo (2 months ago)
We spent a couple days in Engelberg and this was a short walk from our hotel. Fresh snow and the place is so beautiful. Small town. The Abbey monastery was empty when we walked in until someone came in to practice on the pipe organ.
Alejandro Montiel (2 months ago)
One of my highlights during my visit in Engelberg. This abbey dates from the 12th century. A very appropriate place to relax and enjoy the silence.
David Bogaert (11 months ago)
Did the tour of the abbey (+-1 hour). It was a Beautiful building but as a non German speaker I would have liked that the guide book would have been printed in the same order that the tour is being done even if I could ask questions afterwards. Also it would have been nice to see some others rooms then only the most important ones like the living quarters and so on..
Gábor Szigeti (3 years ago)
Mountins, turism, skiing, arhitecture, hystory are all present in this resort!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Doune Castle

Doune Castle was originally built in the thirteenth century, then probably damaged in the Scottish Wars of Independence, before being rebuilt in its present form in the late 14th century by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany (c. 1340–1420), the son of King Robert II of Scots, and Regent of Scotland from 1388 until his death. Duke Robert"s stronghold has survived relatively unchanged and complete, and the whole castle was traditionally thought of as the result of a single period of construction at this time. The castle passed to the crown in 1425, when Albany"s son was executed, and was used as a royal hunting lodge and dower house.

In the later 16th century, Doune became the property of the Earls of Moray. The castle saw military action during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and Glencairn"s rising in the mid-17th century, and during the Jacobite risings of the late 17th century and 18th century.