Sankt Blasien, Abbey of

views updated


The abbey of Sankt Blasien is the former benedictine monastery, today housing a Jesuit Gymnasium, in the Black Forest, Baden, Germany, in the former Diocese of Constance. The origins of the abbey are obscure. The relationship of a cella Alba (with relics of St. blaise), which belonged to rheinau after 858, and the hermitage of Reginbert (founder of the cella S. Blasii according to tradition) is not clear, but the latter must have come into existence in the late 10th century. It is not certain that Werner, who signed himself "abbot" in 1064, bore that title rightfully or that Henry IV's privilege of immunity of 1065 is authentic. Beside the bishop of Basel and Henry IV, Rudolf of Rheinfelden, Duke of Swabia, later antiking, also assured the prosperity of the emerging monastery. He brought the monks into contact with Empress Agnes and through her, with the great cluniac reform center of fruttuaria (c. 1072) whose customs Sankt Blasien accepted, becoming in turn a reform center for southern Germany. It not only founded the priories of Wiblingen and Ochsenhausen but under Abbots Giselbert (106885), Uto (10861100), and their successors, reformed muri (1082), gÖttweig (1094), Garsten (1107), seitenstetten (1112), Ensheim (1123), and Engelberg (1143). In the investiture struggle the abbey adopted the program of the papal party under King Rudolf; and bernold of constance, a monk of Sankt Blasien 1085, took a strong stand against the emperor in his chronicle. Otto of Sankt Blasien (d. 1223) continued the chronicle of otto of freising. The office of advocate, first held by the bishops of Basel, then by the Dukes of Zähringen (11251218), came into the hands of the hapsburgs in 1254 and with it eventually the abbey's territory. In 1746, however, the abbot was made prince-abbot. In the 18th century Sankt Blasien once again became a center of learning, especially of historiography; several of its monks were trained by the maurists in France. Abbot Martin II gerbert von hornau (176493) began the publication of the Germania sacra, a monumental Church history of Germany by dioceses. In 1807 the abbey was dissolved by Baden and the community settled at sankt paul in Carinthia (1809). The abbey church built under Martin II (176883) is an outstanding example of neoclassical architecture. Since 1934 Jesuits have occupied the baroque buildings.

Bibliography: t. raschl, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. m. buchberger, 10 v. (Freiburg 193038) 2:390391, map of territory, 16121803. h. ott, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 9:135136. w. wattenbach, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter. Deutsche Kaiserzeit, ed. r. holtzmann, v. 1.14 (3d ed. Tübingen 1948; repr. of 2d ed. 193843) 3:521528. h. rÖssler and g. franz, eds., Sachwörterbuch zur deutschen Geschichte (Munich 1958) 1111. j. wollasch, "Muri und St. Blasien, Perspektiven schwäbischen Mönchtums in der Reform," Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 17 (1961) 420446.

[a. a. schacher]