Ottobeuren, Abbey of
OTTOBEUREN, ABBEY OF
Benedictine monastery in the Diocese of augsburg, Germany. Founded perhaps in 764, it became important under Abbot Rupert J. (1102–45), who introduced the hirsau Consuetudines, reformed Irsee and ellwangen, founded marienberg and one of the abbey's convents, completed the building of Ottobeuren's abbey and church, and instituted a scriptorium that flourished under his successor Isingrim. After a gradual decline until 1477, the abbey revived with reform from melk. Prior N. Ellenbog (d. 1543) roused an interest in scholarship, and Abbot L. Wiedemann (1508–46) instituted a printing press in 1509. In 1617 Ottobeuren furnished almost the whole staff of professors (six priests) for the new University of Salzburg. Priests from Ottobeuren later taught in Rottweil, Freising, and Fulda, and in the abbey's own school. Abbot Rupert II Ness (1710–40) completely rebuilt the church and cloister in a masterpiece of south German baroque. Of the 19 out of 45 priests who maintained the monastic life after the secularization of 1802, only one lived to see the restoration in 1834. Ottobeuren then remained a priory under St. Stephen in Augsburg until it again became an independent abbey (July 2, 1918). The Bavarian Concordat of 1817 gave permission for educational and pastoral work to the house; the abbey, which cares for the parish of Ottobeuren, has maintained a boys' boarding school since 1855, an agricultural school (1920–36), and a Gymnasium for liberal arts (1922–38, and since 1946).
Bibliography: Ottobeuren: Festschrift zur 120-Jahrfeier der Abtei (Augsburg 1964). Ottobeuren 764–1964: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Abtei (Augsburg 1964), special issue of Studien und Mitteilungen zur Geschichte des Benediktinerordens und seiner Zweige, v.73 (1962). b. kuen, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 7:1310–11.