Alpirsbach, Abbey of

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Former benedictine abbey in Württemberg, Germany, former Diocese of Constance, present-day Diocese of Rottenburg. Its name came either from the demesne of Count Adalbert I of Uffgau (104145) or, according to another interpretation, from the phrase "old deer-hunting." Its founders were Ruotmann of Hausen, Adalbert of Zollern, and Alwig of Sulz. The first monks and the first abbot, Kuno, were of the fruttuaria/sankt blasien tradition; the third abbot came from hirsau. Lands were granted the abbey by Bp. gebhard iii of Constance when the temporary wooden church was dedicated in 1095; the dedication of the extant Romanesque church followed on Aug. 28, 1099. In 1101 Adalbert of Zollern entered the abbey and donated more land. The foundation was confirmed in 1101 by Pope Paschal II as an abbey with free election of abbot and bailiff (Vogt ); it received confirmation and protection from Emperor Henry V in Strasbourg on Jan. 23, 1123. The abbey bailiffs included the counts of Zollern, the dukes of Teck, and the counts of Württemberg. It was noted for its liturgy and pastoral work; it assarted the forests of the Kinzigtal area. Alpirsbach reached the high point of its development in the 12th century. It had a worthy and able abbot in Bruno (133880). In 1482 it was incorporated into the bursfeld congregation; the dormitory, abbot's quarters, and cloister were remodeled; the south aisle of the church was widened; the bell tower was completed; and the high altar was commissioned. The abbey was much damaged by fires in 1508 and 1513 and by the peasants' war. In 1534 the reformation came to Alpirsbach in the person of Ambrose Blarer, a former Alpirsbach monk become Württemberg reformer. From 1556 to 1595 the abbey was a Protestant convent-school. From 1629 to 1648 it was inhabited by Catholic monks from Ochsenhausen, then it again became Protestant. In 1807 all church property was secularized, including Alpirsbach's holdings in 297 localities. The abbey church is now Lutheran; the refectory, a Catholic chapel.

Bibliography: g. allmang, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 2:765768. w. hoffmann, Die ehemalige Benediktinerabtei Alpirsbach (Munich 1955). Weingarten, 10561956, ed. g. spahr (Weingarten 1956). k. hofmann, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 1:367.

[g. spahr]