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Admont, Abbey of


Benedictine abbey on the Enns River, Diocese of Graz-Seckau, central Austria; dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and St. blaise. The place (in valle Ademundi ) is first mentioned in a document of Louis the German (859). In 1074 Abp. Gebhard of Salzburg built the abbey on an earlier cloister of St. Emma of Gurk (d. 1045), who also endowed the monastery of Gurk (1043). A reform cloister in the spirit of cluny, Admont reached its first peak under Abbots Gottfried (113865) and Irimbert (117277) with a scriptorium famous for illuminations and script. The abbey cleared land, founded parishes, opened mines, fostered viticulture, and kept a hospital for the poor, the sick, and lepers; 13 monks became abbots elsewhere. From the 12th century, the abbot was archdeacon of the Enns, Palten, and Liesing valleys. A brief decline was followed by economic and spiritual revival under Henry II (127597) and engelbert (12971327). Protestantism and the Turks caused great harm; and the cloister of Benedictine nuns, founded in 1120, came to an end. Johann IV Hoffmann (15811614), Mathias von Preininger (161528), and Urban Weber (162859) restored and rebuilt Admont. The Latin school was succeeded by a gymnasium (1644) and a school of theology (1711); monks from Admont taught in the state Gymnasiums of Graz, Leoben, and Judenburg (17501900). During the Napoleonic Wars, the abbey was plundered four times (17981809). Benno Kreil (182363) restored its finances, but a fire destroyed part of the cloister, the abbey church, and the nearby market (1865). Admont was rebuilt, only to be expropriated by Nazis (1938).

Since 1945 Admont has been slowly rebuilding and regaining its lost possessions and art treasures. It now has extensive farms and forests with modern equipment, workshops, and two power plants. The ornate library (236 by 46 feet and 36 feet high) has seven ceiling frescoes by B. Altomonte (1776) and baroque carvings by J. T. Stammel (d. 1765); it holds 130,000 volumes, 1,100 MSS, and 900 early printed works. The archives, a natural history museum with a collection of insects, and an art museum with a 1,000-year-old collection are noteworthy. The neo-Gothic abbey church (1869) has sacred art objects, a Christmas crib by Stammel (1745), and precious vestments from the abbey's embroidery school (17th and 18th centuries).

Bibliography: p. j. wichner, Geschichte des Stiftes Admont, 4 v. (Graz 187480). p. a. krause, Die Stiftsbibliothek in Admont (Linz 1962). u. berliÈre, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 1:574576. a. krause, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 1:150. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés (Mâcon 193539) 1:1920. o. l. kapsner, A Benedictine Bibliography: An Author-Subject Union List (Collegeville, Minn.) 2:184. p. a. krause, Das Blasiusmünster in Admont (Linz 1965).

[a. krause]

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