Zirc, Abbey of

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A Cistercian monastery in the Diocese of Veszprém, Hungary, founded by clairvaux abbey (1182) under King Béla III. In 1526 the Turks left Zirc in ruins for almost 200 years, destroying many of the records of its past. It became a commendatory abbey in 1609, was attached to the Cistercians of lilienfeld in 1659, and in 1699 joined with those of Heinrichau (Silesia), who restored it. The new baroque church was consecrated in 1752. Zirc became independent in 1810 when Heinrichau was suppressed. In 1814 it incorporated Pilis (founded 1184) and Pásztó (founded 1190). With the addition of St. Gotthard (founded 1184) in 1878, Zirc became the most prosperous Cistercian congregation. In 1776 the abbey took over Jesuit gymnasia, and thereafter the monks devoted themselves to education, eventually caring for five schools, as well as 15 parishes. The abbey's great prosperity ended with World War II. The Communist regime confiscated the estates, secularized the schools (1948), and in 1950 suppressed Zirc and its affiliated institutions. Monks from Zirc in 1958 founded the Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas in Texas; it is affiliated with the University of Dallas.

Bibliography: u. chevalier, Répertoire des sources historiques du moyen-âge. Biobibliographie, 2 v. (2d. ed. Paris 190507) 2:3380. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 193539) 2:3483. k. horvÁth, Schematismus Congregationis de Zirc (Budapest 1942); Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. m. buchberger, 10v. (Freiburg 193038)1 10:107677.

[l. j. lekai]