Marbach, Abbey of

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A former foundation of canons of st. augustine near Colmar, in the Diocese of Bale, Department of Haut-Rhin, France. It was founded in 1089 by Burkhard of Geberschweier (d. 1120); its first dean was manegold of lautenbach (d. 1103). Papal approval came in 1096. The beautiful triple-naved church was consecrated Nov. 15, 1119. The Romanesque main portal with its two towers and two choir apses remained intact until 1830. Deans had assumed the title of abbot since granting of pontifical rights by Pope honorius iii c. 1216, and from 1463 they were called priors in accordance with the statutes. The abbey buildings were often destroyed during the Middle Ages by fire and pillage. Until 1462, Marbach was head of a congregation to which 13 monasteries belonged. It was attached to the windesheim congregation from 1462 to 1769. Marbach flourished under Prior Petrus Kroppenberg (165080). In addition to the canonry, there was from 1117 a women's convent that was moved in 1149 to Schwarzenthann but continued to be subject to the abbey. In 1786 Marbach became a convent; it was dissolved in 1790. Its buildings are used today as a sanatorium. The Codex regulae of Canon Sintram, written c. 1150, is famous for its numerous and valuable miniatures. The Marbach Annals are an important source for the history of the empire in the 12th and 13th centuries; they were compiled about 1210 in the Convent of Hohenburg (see mont sainte-odile, convent of).

Bibliography: l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés (Mâcon 193539) 2:173536. j. clauss, Historischtopographisches Wörterbuch des Elsass (Saverne 18951914) 636637. a. m. burg, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 6:137172. f. a. goehlinger, Historie de l'abbaye de Marbach (Colmar 1954).

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