St. Blasien Monastery (Black Forest)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
St. Blasien Cathedral , the former monastery church of St. Blasien Abbey, built from 1771 to 1781 with red sandstone from Unteralpfen

The St. Blasien monastery was a Benedictine abbey in Sankt Blasien in the southern Black Forest and is located in the Waldshut district . The so-called Dom St. Blasien served as the abbey church .


9th century to 12th century

Monument to Prince Abbot Martin Gerbert

We know from the early history of the St. Blasien monastery that the Cella Alba of the Rheinau monastery in the 9th century was at the beginning of a development towards the 11th century monastery of St. Blasien. Accordingly, the cell must Albtal In times of: in a longer process of Rheinau Monastery have solved Findan are relics of Saint. Saint Blaise of Rome brought to the monastery Rheinau and from there parts of it to the neighboring wooded mountains to the place of the future monastery St. Blasien led. This is what a recorded note from the 12th century says. Under the first abbot, Beringer , the rule of St. Benedict was adopted in 948 and strictly followed.

Reginbert von Seldenbüren, named in the tradition as the "founder", who donated his goods near Zurich to the monastery - his bones are buried in the choir of the monastery church - was, like Reginbert I, one of the decisive factors for the establishment. Reginbert I was a friend of Otto the Great in whose wake he lost an arm in the battle against Bavaria; Otto I's successor and son, Otto II. confirmed the donations in 983. The first stone church was built around 950, and it was consecrated by the Bishop of Constance, Gaminolf . Presumably in 983 Emperor Otto II gave the high valleys of Bernau and Menzenschwand , as well as the Bailiwick of Blasiwald and the villages of Urberg and Höchenschwand . These areas were called " Zwing und Bann ". In 1013, the three-aisled cathedral church, Das alten Münster , was built; the construction period lasted until 1036. Under Abbot Uto von Kyburg , a new minster was built in 1084 , the Stephanskirche, which was inaugurated in 1085 by the later Pope, Urban II . Uto expanded the monastery complex from 1068 to 1086, a certificate by King Heinrich IV. , Issued in Basel on June 8, 1065, immunized the non- matriculated foundation from 983. Here the cellam in silva Svvarzvvalt a Sancto Reginberto constructam, from Ottone autem imperatore… deo et sancto Blasio… traditam… called.

St. Blasien was on the side of the Pope during the investiture controversy, it adopted the rules of the Cluny Abbey . Between 1070 and 1073 contacts with the Cluniac reform monastery Fruttuaria in northern Italy can be assumed. The consequence of these contacts was the connection of St. Blasiens to the fruttuarian reform direction, the introduction of lay brothers and probably the design of St. Blasiens as a double monastery of monks and nuns; the nuns were supposed to settle in the Berau monastery before 1117 .

The historiographer Bernold of Constance is St. Blaise next to the monastery Hirsau and the Monastery of All Saints as the leading Swabian reform monasteries is from St. Blaise from reformed among other things, and when. Priorat or provost established: Muri Abbey (1082), which also later ochsenhausen abbey (1093), Göttweig (1094), Garsten Abbey , Imperial Abbey of Kempten , Wiblingen Abbey , Seeon and Engelberg monastery , was controversial Muri Abbey, which from the monastery of Einsiedeln was founded monastery Trub belonging contrast, St. Blaise. Stein am Rhein (before 1123), Prüm (1132) and Maursmünster (before 1166). Bishop Otto II of Konstanz decided in a document dated February 17, 1170, made in the Allerheiligen monastery in Schaffhausen, in favor of St. Blasiens in the legal dispute over Ehaben .

On January 8, 1125, Emperor Heinrich V confirmed a donation made in May 1074/77 of the Schluchsee estate , which also included large land holdings. The following are named as donors: Rudolf von Rheinfelden , Count Otto and his son Friedrich (von Dießen-Andechs?), Count Ekbert von Sachsen , Ita von Sachsen and Birkendorf (a relative of Kuno von Öhningen ), Tuto von Wagenhausen, (Vogt of the monastery Wagenhausen in Wagenhausen ) and Hezelo, Vogt of the Reichenau Abbey. This secured the central land holdings around the monastery area. The Meierhof in Schluchsee was directly subordinate to the monastery until the 15th century.

In terms of communities in the Black Forest, St. Blasien influenced the Alpirsbach (1099), Sankt Ulrich and Afra Augsburg , Ettenheimmünster (1124) and Sulzburg (around 1125) monasteries as well as its Dinghöfe Steinen (around 1100), Bürgeln Castle (before 1130) and Sitzenkirch (around 1130), Heilig Kreuz monastery in Donauwörth .

A list of prayer fraternities compiled around 1150 shows the extensive relationships between St. Blasien and other women's and men's monasteries. Adalgoz von Wehr was able to shake off the protective bailiwick of the bishops of Basel through a forgery , which the presumably misled Emperor Heinrich V subsequently confirmed by the document of January 8, 1125, so that the monastery was actually granted protection of the king and free election of bailiffs has been. The new bailiff was the Bishop of Constance , and St. Blasien chose the Zähringer as patron saint. After the Zähringers died out in 1218, the emperor took over the bailiff again, until 1250 the Roman-German King Conrad IV transferred the bailiff to Rudolf von Habsburg and thus to the Habsburgs . King Charles IV . 1353 again confirmed the free election of bailiffs. Between 1369 and 1371, the abbey recognized Duke Albrecht as hereditary bailiff, Austria became sovereign.

In the course of the 12th century, however, the zeal of the Black Forest monks waned, and activities were dominated by the expansion of an extensive manor. The donation of a church by Gersbach is documented in writing in 1166 , which further increased the influence of the monastery in the region. Land and goods were also acquired beyond the High Rhine . In 1241, Abbot Arnold I von Berau exchanged the site with Ulrich von Klingen , on which the little town of Klingnau was built. Klingnau became the provost of St. Blasien. The Wilhelmite Monastery of Sion was added later . The Wislikofen priory was founded in 1113, the church in Schneisingen was acquired in 1120, and Kirchdorf (municipality of Obersiggenthal ) was added in 1150 .

On May 1, 1322, a major fire destroyed the entire complex. The reconstruction began immediately, based on the old model, and the Gothic- style monastery buildings were already completed in 1348 . In 1464, during the Waldshut War, the Confederates came nearby and burned down the surrounding courtyards, Abbot Christoph von Greuth went to meet them and had them entertained, so he was able to save the monastery.

13th century to 18th century

View of the monastery around 1562
Border stone to the Principality of Fürstenberg (1767)
The lower chancellery building , today the district court of St. Blasien . Designed by Johann Caspar Bagnato on behalf of Prince Abbot Meinrad Troger and built between 1755 and 1757

As a result of the decision of Christmas 1124, the Zähringer established themselves as monastery bailiffs, after their extinction in 1218, the bailiwick became an imperial fiefdom under Emperor Friedrich II (1212 / 1215–1250). Since the emperor was bailiff over the abbey, this meant the imperial immediacy for St. Blasien. The monk Otto von St. Blasien describes the events from 1146 to 1209 in his chronicle. With the pledge to the bishopric of Constance or the diocese of Constance , this directness of the emperor ceased again.

Around the middle of the 13th century, the Habsburgs are attested as guardians and casters of the monastic community. St. Blasien thus became part of the Upper Austrian rulers' association of the Habsburg dukes and, in the early modern period, was the Upper Austrian prelate monastery of the County of Hauenstein . Nevertheless, there were also relations with the empire, which were connected with the fact that the monastery was listed in the imperial registers between 1422 and 1521 and the Swabian imperial circle tried in vain to integrate St. Blasien as an imperial prelate monastery in 1549. The four "imperial dominions" Blumegg , Bettmaringen, Gurtweil (1646 provost) with Gutenburg and Berauer Berg, which were acquired by St. Blasien at the end of the 13th century, were the starting point for the Bonndorf dominion established in 1614 . The respective abbot was also landgrave of the Bonndorf imperial rule . In 1746, Emperor Franz I Stephan elevated Abbot Franz II (Schächtelin) to the rank of imperial prince . He was the first imperial prelate of the now Prince Abbey of St. Blasien.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the manor reached its greatest extent and extended over large areas of the southern Black Forest , including the aforementioned provosts and the Gutnau nunnery, the re-establishment of the Propstei Weitnau , and the Niederkirchen in Niederrotweil, Schluchsee , Wettelbrunn, Achdorf, Hochemmingen , Todtnau , Efringen, Schönau , Frickingen , Neuenzell near Ibach, Nellingen on the Fildern and others, all the way to Italy. A legend reports that the St. Blasier monks were always able to spend the night in their own monasteries on the way to Rome.

In 1526 ( Peasants' War ) the monastery was completely destroyed. Under Abbot Caspar I (1541–1571) the buildings could be renewed in the old style and expanded again and again until the beginning of the 18th century. From 1629 with a short interruption until 1648, Emperor Ferdinand II's edict of restitution brought the Lorch monastery to St. Blasien, and the following were appointed abbots: Friedrich Kohler (1634–1639), Vincentius Haug (1639–1641) and Placidus Rauber (1641–1648 ). In 1634 - the Thirty Years War raged - the Swedes invaded and wreaked havoc. Abbot Francis I nevertheless introduced the study of Oriental languages ​​and had the library expanded through purchases.

The Sion (Klingnau) monastery and the Mengen monastery were acquired in 1725, and the Oberried monastery was also the Benedictine priory of St. Blasien from 1725 to 1806. Abbot Franz II had the monastery completely demolished from 1727 to 1742 under the architect Johann Michael Beer von Bleichten from 1740 to 1741 and rebuilt in the Baroque style . The builder was Franz Joseph Salzmann . The office building and the inn were built under Johann Caspar Bagnato .

The abbey had camera offices in Waldshut , Freiburg , Kaiserstuhl AG , Zurich, Basel and Schaffhausen ; there the former office building in the Rosengasse was converted into an orphanage.

The pleasure house " Tusculum over the Alb " built here existed from 1761 to 1824.

Reconstruction by Abbot Martin Gerbert

St. Blasien monastery complex on an engraving by Matthias Pfenninger (1739–1813)

Especially under Prince Abbot Martin Gerbert , who held the office from 1764 to 1793, St. Blasien experienced a heyday, which made the construction or, after the great fire of 1768, the reconstruction of the extensive baroque complex and the early classicist monastery cathedral possible. On November 14, 1770, the ceremonial translation of the imperial-royal-also-ducal-Austrian highest corpses took place. However, the magnificent crypt planned for this was never realized. Under Abbot Gerbert of soon fell from grace architects was built from 1771 to plans by Pierre Michel d'Ixnard and 1775 acts as Director of Construction French architect and Mannheim court architect Nicolas de Pigage and employed as a construction manager Franz Josef Salzmann the impressive domed church in the style of classicism , the huge wooden dome construction was executed by the local master carpenter Joseph Müller and received the highest recognition. The monastery was decorated by the sculptors Joseph Hörr and Johann Christian Wentzinger , the stucco work was done by Johann Kaspar Gigl and the Württemberg court plasterer Lodovico Bossi , some of which are still preserved (staircase, Habsburg Hall ), while Carlo Luca Pozzi and his brother Giuseppe Pozzi worked on the Creation of models in Mannheim under Nicolas de Pigage were active. The choir grilles were made by the Baden court locksmith Johann Jacob Carl Hugenest , and the bells were cast by Franz Joseph Benjamin Grieninger from the Grüninger dynasty of the bell foundry from Villingen. The painters Simon Göser and Johann Anton Morath and many others were active. On November 11, 1781, the first holy mass could be celebrated in the new cathedral.

Dissolution of the monastery and industrial settlement in the 19th century

Hans Holbein the Elder , 1501/12: Maria, handing the Child Jesus a pomegranate, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (acquired in 1926 by St. Paul Abbey, provenance St. Blasien?)

The politics of Josephinism meant that the centuries-old Benedictine monastery, which was not significantly influenced by the Reformation , was dissolved in 1806 in the course of secularization . In 1807, Grand Duke Karl Friedrich commissioned Joseph Albrecht von Ittner to dissolve the monastery. Prince Abbot Berthold Rottler and a large part of the monks moved with the remaining art treasures, including the Adelheid Cross and the remains of the 14 Habsburgs buried here, first to the disbanded Spital am Pyhrn Abbey in Upper Austria and finally, in 1809, to the St. Paul Abbey, which still exists today Lavanttal in Carinthia. 27,789 people lived in the area around St. Blasien, which fell to the Grand Duchy of Baden in 1807 , and the value of the goods was estimated at 15,723,965 gulden (1 gulden about one gold mark). The medieval monastery complex was built over in the Baroque style in the 18th century , but most of it burned down and was replaced by today's visible building in the classicism style . Therefore, no medieval or earlier buildings have been preserved.

After the secularization, the monastery church and monastery buildings began to decline. From 1808 factories were set up. Shortly after Henry Duggli , on July 20, 1809, Johann Georg Bodmer arrived in St. Blasien with eleven six-horse wagons full of machines, tools and household items and began building cotton spinning and weaving machines. Later he also took over the Badische rifle factory, which was set up here in 1810 with the financial participation of David von Eichthal . After the death of his wife in 1822, Bodmer left St. Blasien, worked in England and Vienna, and most recently with his son-in-law JF Reishauer in Zurich. The machine factory was considered to be "the largest of its kind" in Germany at the time.

In 1821 the investor Baron David von Eichthal bought the building complex after Bodmer withdrew from the company. Eichthal built a cotton spinning mill in the buildings and in 1835 was able to operate around a quarter of the total stock of cotton cobwebs in Baden with 28,000 spindles. Nevertheless, the company was economically unsuccessful. As a result of the banking crisis in Frankfurt and Karlsruhe and the revolution of 1848/1949, the factory came to a standstill. The monastery buildings were auctioned in 1852 to the Schopfheim textile manufacturer Carl Wilhelm Grether and the Augsburg banker Obermaier. Under the direction of Grether's son-in-law Ernst Friedrich Krafft , a cotton spinning mill that flourished for decades was built from 1853. Even after the great fire in the monastery in 1874, Krafft was able to rebuild the spinning mill and run it successfully. In October 1931, the spinning mill went bankrupt in the wake of the global economic crisis .

In 1910 the dome and in 1913 the interior of the cathedral, which was destroyed by fire in 1874, were restored. From 1934 the monastery rooms housed a boarding school, and in 1946 the St. Blasien college , which still exists today, moved here. After another major fire in the monastery complex in 1977 everything has been comprehensively renovated again. In addition to the church services, organ and cathedral concerts as well as exhibitions take place in the building.


Book from the monastery printing house Sankt Blasien, Marquard Herrgott and Rustenus Heer, Nummotheca principum Austriae, 2nd edition St. Blasien, Volume 2, Part 1, 1789
Three-volume Gutenberg Bible with blind embossed covers from 1560 in the St. Blasien Monastery, in the Library of Congress , 1944, (acquired from St. Paul)
The bookplate of the Abbey in the first volume of the Gutenberg Bible

Like all Benedictine monasteries, the monastery had a large library . It contained the Ramsey Psalter and also the St. Blasien Psalter , which was written here in the Scriptorium . The monastery had its own important printing press (some works are exhibited in the museum in the guest house in St. Blasien). After the dissolution of the Freiburg University of Applied Sciences, the printing facility was given to the publisher Bartholomä Herder . Since the monastery fell victim to fires several times in the course of history, the library was also often destroyed. The library room of the third monastery complex was designed (1729 to 1732) by the plasterer Giovanni Battista Clerici and his son, who also stuccoed the theater hall, after whom Dominikus Zimmermann worked in the monastery (1732). During the last major fire, Abbot Gerbert had a large but simple library room set up in the new building, which Friedrich Nicolai describes in his book. In 1806 Joseph Albrecht von Ittner describes the library as a three-story hall in the Italian style with a continuous gallery, apparently only the staircases were renewed.

The research idea of ​​the Germania Sacra , which still exists today, was born under Prince Abbot Martin Gerbert , which aims to record the history of the monasteries and dioceses in Germany. As a result, he inspired many friends, researchers and interested parties, including the historians Trudpert Neugart , Father Aemilian Ussermann, who came from St. Ulrich to St. Blasien - where he became a librarian -, Father Marquard Herrgott , Father Rustenus Heer , and Father Moritz Hohenbaum van der Meer , Father Ambrosius Eichhorn and Father Victor Keller , but also far away correspondence with the abbot in Albtal: Cardinal Garampi , Philippe-André Grandidier , Philipp Jakob Steyrer , the collector Beat Fidel Zurlauben , Stephan Alexander Würdtwein and many others (in Vienna, Rome, Göttweig, Thennenbach , Pfäffers , Zurich, Ravenna / St. Vitale and others).

The college of the monastery, which Joseph Bader later referred to as the academy of scholars , came from teachers who mostly received their training in the monastery, including Ignatius Gumpp , Vinzenz Ilger , Konrat Boppert , Johann Baptist Weiß , Anselm Buß and Joseph Lukas Meyer .

Some of the library's books are exhibited in a showcase in the St. Blasien district museum , including Jean Mabillon and Gerbert's works. Further works by Gerbert were collected in the Oberried monastery . Further books are in the archives of St. Paul. Books from the monastery printing house were also published and sold (mostly through booksellers) and are now in libraries and privately owned.

List of Abbots of St. Blasien

See also


  • Michael Buhlmann: Benedictine monasticism in the medieval Black Forest. A lexicon. Lecture at the Black Forest Association St. Georgen e. V., St. Georgen im Schwarzwald, November 10, 2004, Part 2: NZ. St. Georgen 2004, p. 76ff. (= Vertex Alemanniae , H. 10/2)
  • Claus-Peter Hilger, Stephan Kessler (ed.): St. Blasien Cathedral on the Black Forest. J. Fink, Lindenberg 2006, ISBN 3-89870-218-9 .
  • Franz Quarthal (arrangement): The Benedictine monasteries in Baden-Württemberg (= Germania Benedictina. Vol. 5). 2nd Edition. St. Ottilien 1987, ISBN 3-88096-605-2 , pp. 146-160.
  • Hugo Ott : Studies on the history of the St. Blasien monastery in the high and late Middle Ages. Stuttgart 1963. (= publications of the commission for historical regional studies in Baden-Württemberg; series B, volume 27)
  • Hugo Ott: The bailiwick of the St. Blasien monastery since the Zähringer died out until the transition to the House of Habsburg. In: Journal for the history of the Upper Rhine . 113 (NF 74), 1965, pp. 30-44.
  • Hugo Ott: The monastery manor St. Blasien in the Middle Ages. Contributions to the history of ownership. Stuttgart 1969. (= Work on the Historical Atlas of Southwest Germany, Vol. 4)
  • Paul Booz: Building and Art History of the Monastery of St. Blasien and its domain . Schillinger, Freiburg 2001, ISBN 3-89155-264-5 .
  • Johann Wilhelm Braun (edit.): Document book of the monastery Sankt Blasien in the Black Forest. From the beginning to the year 1299. Part I: Edition; Part II: Introduction, directories, registers, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-17-017985-3 . (= Publications of the Commission for Historical Regional Studies in Baden-Württemberg: Series A, Sources; Volume 23)
  • Helmut Naumann: The donation of the Schluchsee estate to St. Blasien . In: German Archive for Research into the Middle Ages , magazine volume, (1967)

Web links

Commons : St. Blasien Monastery (Black Forest)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: St. Blasien  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Johann Wilhelm Braun (edit.): Document book of the monastery Sankt Blasien in the Black Forest. From the beginning to the year. 1299, p. 30.
  2. ^ Johann Wilhelm Braun (edit.): Document book of the monastery Sankt Blasien in the Black Forest. From the beginning up to the year 1299. Part II: Introduction, directories, registers, Stuttgart 2003, pp. 142–143.
  3. see Johannes Gut: Abbey of St. Blasien and Reichsherrschaft Bonndorf . In: Meinrad Schaab , Hansmartin Schwarzmaier (ed.) U. a .: Handbook of Baden-Württemberg History . Volume 2: The Territories in the Old Kingdom. Edited on behalf of the Commission for Historical Regional Studies in Baden-Württemberg . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-608-91466-8 , p. 543.
  4. Joseph Enderle: Studies on the possession of the monastery St. Blasien from its beginnings to the 14th century . Inaugural dissertation to obtain the philosophical doctorate of the high philosophical faculty of the Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg im Breisgau presented by Joseph Enderle from Rhina . Speaker: Go. Councilor Prof. Dr. Georg von Below . Caritas printing works Freiburg im Breisgau 1909. p. 68
  5. ^ Theodor Beck: History of the orphanage Schaffhausen in the years 1872-1922 , from the Citizens' Council z. Celebration of 100 years Inventory of the institute published, 1922.
  6. Historical Association of the Canton of Schaffhausen (Ed.): Festschrift of the city of Schaffhausen for the federal celebration in 1901. p. 23.
  7. ^ Peter Scheck: From orphanage to youth home on Rosengasse , Schaffhausen City Archives online
  8. ^ Cathedral of St. Blasien. 2nd, revised, updated edition, Kunstverlag Josef Fink, Lindenberg 2012.
  9. ^ Wolfram Fischer: The beginnings of the factory of St. Blasien. A contribution to the early history of industrialization. In: Heinrich Heidegger, Hugo Ott: St. Blasien. 200 years monastery and parish church. 1983, ISBN 3-7954-0445-2 , p. 330 ff.
  10. ^ Rudolf Metz: Geological regional studies of the Hotzenwald. P. 651.
  11. Barbara Baur: Last year in St. Blasien. The history of a health resort and its prominent guests. Münster 2014.
  12. Friedrich Nicolai: Description of a journey through Germany and Switzerland in 1781. 12 vol., Berlin a. Szczecin 1783–1796.

Coordinates: 47 ° 45 ′ 36 "  N , 8 ° 7 ′ 48"  E