Sankt Ulrich von Augsburg, Abbey of
SANKT ULRICH VON AUGSBURG, ABBEY OF
Former imperial benedictine monastery in augs-burg, Germany, founded in 1012 by Bp. Bruno over the tomb of SS. ulric and afra, replacing an earlier monastery of canons. It was settled by monks from tegernsee under Abbot Reginbald from sankt gallen, who was bishop of Speyer at his death in 1039. During the investiture struggle, the abbey supported the pope, while the bishop sided with the emperor. In the 12th century it was considered a model monastery; after 1440 it was the center of the Melk Reform in Swabia. During the Renaissance the abbey was the center for humanist artists of Augsburg. Although the monks were banished during the Reformation (1537–48), for most of the 16th century the abbey remained an exemplary Benedictine institution. Abbot Bernhard Hertfelder (1632–42) was considered the savior of Catholicism Augsburg. Scholarship and art reached a high level during the first half of the 18th century; but under Abbot Josef Maria von Langenmantel (1753–90) the abbey declined financially and Abbots Benedikt Maria Angehrn of Neresheim and Robert Kolb of Elchingen were installed as administrators by the emperor and the Bavarian elector. Good discipline was restored under Abbot Wikterp Grundner (d. 1795). The abbey was secularized in 1802, but the monks continued to lead a community life until an epidemic struck in 1806. Efforts to reestablish the abbey in 1828 and 1883 were unsuccessful. The abbey church, famous for its three altars (c. 68 feet high) and for its treasury, became a Catholic parish church, and in 1937 it was declared a minor basilica.
Bibliography: s. drexel, Reichsstift und Reichsstadt (Studien u. Mitteilungen zur Geschichte des Benediktiner-Ordens …, Ergänzungsheft 14; Munich 1938). b. schroeder, Die Aufhebung des Benediktiner-Reichsstiftes St. Ulrich und Afra in Augsburg, 1802–1806 (ibid. 3; 1929). h. schnell, "St. Ulrich und Afra in Augsburg," Jubiläumsjahrbuch (Augsburg 1955). h. rinn, ed., Augusta, 955–1955 (Munich 1955). n. lieb, Augsburg, St. Ulrich und Afra (2d ed. Munich 1955).