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Tepl, Monastery of


Premonstratensian abbey in the Archdiocese of Prague, founded by Bl. hroznata in 1193 and settled from strahov. It survived the Hussite wars and the rebellion of monks under the influence of the Reformation in 1525. Abbots John Kurz (155559), John Meyskönig (155985), and Andreas Ebersbach (15981629) fostered monastic discipline and theological studies to combat insurrection and Lutheranism. It suffered seriously in the Thirty Years' War and in 1659 was burned down. During the Counter Reformation, Tepl had the pastoral care of all German districts in western Bohemia (about 50 parishes) and conducted the German gymnasium in Plzeň. It used the proceeds from its famous spa, Mariánské Lázně (Marienbad), built in the 19th century, to pay for its hospitals. The present cloister was built by Abbot Raymond II Wilfert (16881724); and the library, holding 600 MSS and 500 incunabula, by Abbot Gilbert Helmer (190044). The abbey, which had always been predominantly German, continued after 1918 under the Czechoslovak Republic. In 1938 its lands were annexed to the German Reich. After World War II it was suppressed, the community moving to Speinshart in Bavaria (restored by Tepl in 1921). Herman Tyl, a monk of Nová Ríše and a prisoner in Dachau (194045), was prevented from organizing a Czech community in 1950 and sentenced to 12 years in prison by a Communist court in 1957. The abbey is now a state museum. The Romanesque hall church with Gothic additions, restored in 18th-century baroque, is one of the oldest in Bohemia.

Bibliography: b. grassl, Geschichte und Beschreibung des Stiftes Tepl (Pilsen 1910). n. backmund, Monasticon Praemonstratense, 3 v. (Straubing 194956). p. mÖhler, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 9:136566.

[l. nemec]

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