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Pforta, Abbey of

PFORTA, ABBEY OF

(Schulpforta, Porta ), Cistercian abbey in Thuringia, Germany, Diocese of Naumburg; founded 1132; secularized 1540. In 1127 Count Bruno of Pleissengau founded, near Schmölln, a convent for nuns. They were replaced in 1132 by Benedictine monks, who were followed by Cistercians invited from Walkenried, Brunswick, by Bishop Udo of Naumburg. In 1137 the Cistercians moved to Pforta, a more favorable location. Within a century Pforta founded three other abbeys: leubus (1163), Altzelle (1170), and Dünamünde (1208). Through model farms and advanced agricultural methods, Pforta contributed to the economic growth of medieval Thuringia. Under the pressure of the Protestant Duke Henry of Saxony, the abbey was secularized in 1540 and made a secondary school. As such, "Schulpforta" achieved a reputation for scholarly excellence; it is still a school. The early church, in transitional style, was built (113750) after French models, but has been preserved as remodeled in 13th-century Gothic.

Bibliography: w. hirschfeld, Zisterzienserkloster Pforte (Burg, Ger. 1934). r. bÄumer, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) suppl., Das Zweite Vatikanische Konzil: Dokumente und Kommentare, ed. h. s. brechter et al., pt. 1 (1966) 8:430.

[l. j. lekai]

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