Seitenstetten, Abbey of

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Benedictine monastery of the Blessed Virgin, Diocese of Sankt Pölten, Lower Austria. It was founded in 1109 by Udalschalk of Stille and Heft for Augustinian canons, was given to benedictines from gÖttweig abbey in 1112, and became an abbey in 1114. Bishops Ulrich of Passau and Wichmann of Magdeburg endowed it with land. Most of its 14 parishes, with 22,100 parishioners in 1964, had been incorporated in the 12th century, when the abbey began its agricultural development. The oldest register of land dates from the end of the 13th century. The Gothic church (12541300) was made baroque in the 17th century, when the abbey recovered from a decline it had suffered during the Reformation. In 1814 the centuries-old abbey school became a public Gymnasium. The famous shrine of the Holy Trinity at Sonntagberg with its baroque church (170629) by Jacob Prandtauer belongs to Seitenstetten. The present monastic buildings, erected between 1719 and 1749, contain many paintings

by B. Altomonte, P. Troger, J. M. Schmidt, and J. I. Mildorfer, and a library of 55,000 volumes, 270 MSS, and 230 incunabula.

Bibliography: l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 2:299596. p. ortmayr, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. m. buchberger, 10 v. (Freiburg 193038)1 9:433434; Das Benediktinerstift Seitenstetten (Wels 1955).

[a. kurzwernhart]