Muri, Abbey of
MURI, ABBEY OF
Benedictine abbey, formerly in Aargau, Diocese of Basel, Switzerland; since 1845 in the former Augustinian monastery of Gries in Bolzano, Italy. It was founded in 1027 by the Hapsburgs as a family cloister and settled from einsiedeln. The first prior, Reginbold (1032–55), built the convent. The church, a Romanesque three-nave, flat-roof basilica with two towers, was consecrated in 1064; and in 1065 the provost became an abbot. In 1082, as the customary of fruttuaria was introduced from sankt blasien, Muri was detached from the Hapsburgs, who became advocati. The abbey came under imperial (1114) and papal (1139) protection. The Acta Murensia, begun c. 1150, offer data on the early Hapsburgs. In the 14th century fire damaged the abbey twice; in 1431 the right of advocatus went to the Swiss Confederation. Pontifical privileges were granted to the abbots in 1507. The Reformation brought Muri, which had accumulated extensive possessions, to the brink of ruin; but Abbot Johann Jodokus Singeisen (1596–1644) applied Tridentine reforms, helped found the Swiss Benedictine Congregation (1602), and raised Muri to new heights. In 1622 the abbey became exempt from the bishop of Constance. Placidus Zurlauben (1684–1723) was made a prince of the empire (1701) after he acquired new lands, making Muri the richest abbey in Switzerland. Decline began with restrictions by the Helvetic Republic, and secularization by Aargau occurred in 1841. Austria offered a refuge to the monks in Gries; the abbot, however, retains his title of Muri. Since 1841 the abbey has cared for the Swiss Gymnasium in Sarnen. The buildings in Muri now house a mental institution; and the church, which was rebuilt (1694–97), now serves a parish. The stained-glass windows, as well as the library went to Aargau.
Bibliography: m. kiem, Geschichte der Benediktiner-Abtei Muri-Gries, 2 v. (Stans 1881–91). h. steinacker, "Die ältesten Geschichtsquellen des habsburgischen Hausklosters Muri," Zeitschrift für die Geschichte des Oberrheins, NS 23 (Heidelberg 1908) 387–420. o. hunkeler, Abt J. J. Singeisen (Diss. Fribourg 1951). r. amschwand, Abt A. Regli und die Aufhebung des Klosters Muri (Diss. Fribourg 1956); Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 7:694. Sarnen Jahresbericht (1955–56). o. l. kapsner, A Benedictine Bibliography: An Author-Subject Union List, 2 v. (2d ed. Collegeville, Minn. 1962) 2:242. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 1935–39) 2:2020–22.