Altenburg, Abbey of

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Benedictine abbey in the Diocese of St. Pölten, Austria; its patron is St. Lambert. It was founded (1144) by Countess Hildburg of Rebgau-Poigen and settled with 12 monks from sankt lambrecht in Styria, and has always been the pastoral and cultural center of the former "Horn County." Six incorporated parishes include the pilgrimage parish Maria Dreieichen and the city parish of Horn. In 1964 the abbey had a boys' choir school and a boarding school, and 20 monks devoted themselves to pastoral care and scholarship. The cloister, one of the most splendid baroque monuments in Austria, was built (16501742) after its total destruction (1645) in the Thirty Years' War. Its present form is the work of the architect Joseph Mungenast (172941). There are many frescoes by Paul Trogers (church, library, prelates' hall, and emperors' stairway) and valuable stucco work of the wessobrunn school (Franz Josef Holzinger and Michael Flor). Excavations in 1932 revealed part of the early Romanesque cloister.

Bibliography: Urkunden der Benedictiner-Abtei zum heiligen Lambert in Altenburg, ed. h. burger (Fontes rerum Austriacarum 21; Vienna 1865). h. burger, Geschichtliche Darstellung der Gründung und Schicksale des Benedictinerstiftes St. Lambert zu Altenburg in Nieder-Österreich (Vienna 1862). f. endl, Stift Altenburg (Augsburg 1929). g. schweighofer, Stift Altenburg (Vienna 1963). o. l. kapsner, A Benedictine Bibliography: An Author-Subject Union List, 2 v. (2d ed. Collegeville, Minn. 1962) 2:184185. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 1:6869.

[g. schweighofer]