Oliva, Abbey of

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Cistercian monastery near Danzig, founded in 1174 by Subislaus I, a prince of Pomerania, colonized in 1186 from the abbey of Kolbatz. It became the center of the cistercian mission in Prussia. In 1224 pagan Prussians demolished the monastery, and it was after this that a three-aisled Romanesque basilica, based on the second plan of clairvaux (see cistercian art and architecture), was built. When this church was destroyed by fire in 1350, it was rebuilt in its present dimensions (more than 300 feet long) with the addition of a polygonal gallery choir. The star vaulting, built from 1577 to 1582, was patterned on English models. In the 18th century the church was remodeled along extravagant baroque lines; among other innovations, a famous organ with three manuals and 83 stops was installed. The abbey was secularized in 1831; the abbey church, converted into a parish church in 1835, became the cathedral of the newly established Diocese of Danzig in 1925. Since 1945 Oliva has been a Polish Cistercian priory.

Bibliography: Die Ältere Chronik und die Schrifttafeln von Oliva, ed. t. hirsch in Scriptores rerum Prussicarum, 5 v. (Leipzig 186174) v. 1. Fontes Olivenses, ed. w. ketrzyŃski in Monumenta Poloniae historica, 6 v. (Cracow 186493) 6:257382. Annales Olivenses aetate posteriores (Thorn 191618). t. hirsch, Das Kloster Oliva (Danzig 1850). h. j. sleumer, Die Ursprüngliche Gestalt der Zisterzienser Abteikirche Oliva (Heidelberg 1909). f. j. wothe, "Die Kirchen der Diözese Danzig," Festgabe für Bischof Carl M. Splett (Hildesheim 1963) 1422.

[a. schneider]

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Oliva, Abbey of

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