St. Lambrecht Abbey

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St. Lambrecht Abbey
Basic data
Country Austria
Dept Benedikt Plank OSB
Dept. Emeritus Maximilian Aichern OSB

Otto Strohmaier OSB

founding 11th century
Parishes 6 (June 21, 2019)
Religious priest 9 (06/21/2019)
Friars 4 (06/21/2019)
rite Roman rite
Liturgical language German Latin
address St. Lambrecht Abbey

Hauptstrasse 1 8813 St. Lambrecht

Coat of arms of St. Lambrecht Abbey
St. Lambrecht Abbey
St. Lambrecht with Benedictine monastery in winter

The Monastery of St. Lambrecht, officially Benedictine Abbey of St. Lambrecht ( lat. Abbatia Sancti Lamberti), a Abbey of Benedictine , located at 1,028 meters above sea level in Sankt Lambrecht in the Austrian state of Styria . The name of the monastery goes back to its patron saint, St. Lambert .


Pen view from 1839
On the right the monastery building with the collegiate church, in the middle the bastion, in between the outer courtyard, to the left of the bastion on the hill the St.
St. Lambrecht Abbey - towers of the collegiate church with renaissance portal
St. Lambrecht Abbey - three naves in the nave of the Gothic abbey church
St. Lambrecht Abbey - three naves in the nave of the Gothic abbey church

The monastery was founded in 1076 by the Carinthian margrave Markwart von Eppenstein . His son, Duke Heinrich III. von Carinthia completed and completed the founding of the monastery until his death in 1122, when the Eppenstein family died out. He endowed the convent with a generous amount of money to support and maintain art and science. It is not known from which Benedictine mother monastery the first monks came. The first church in the 11th century was the "Church of St. Lambert in the Forest", in the immediate vicinity of which the monastery was built before 1076. In the 12th century it was replaced by a Romanesque basilica, which was consecrated in 1160. It was almost the size of today's collegiate church. In 1157 the place of grace Mariazell in Upper Styria was founded by St. Lambrecht Benedictines and, after an interruption from 1949 to 1992, is now looked after from St. Lambrecht again.

A collection of manuscripts arose soon after the monastery was founded; it is documented in two registers from the 12th and 13th centuries. It consisted mainly of theological and liturgical books, but also contained some works by ancient writers. In the 13th and 14th centuries the monastery had a productive scriptorium (scribes' names: Fridericus Rosula, Andreas Moravus). The growing library owed the abbot Johann I. Friedberger (1341-1359), who had studied in Bologna, an increase in the holdings, including his own treatises .

After the fire in the Romanesque church in 1262 and the collapse of some of the parts that had been restored until 1327, work began on building a new church on the stone walls that were still there. The Gothic hall church was consecrated in 1421 under Abbot Heinrich Moyker (1419-1455). Abbot Heinrich actively promoted the library of the monastery. The personal belongings of the monks were recorded in so-called Schedulae resignationis, including considerable book holdings in the cells. Among them are books from the property of the abbots and the professors of the home school . Worth mentioning is a legal library owned by Johannes Drezeler from Münster in Westphalia (enrolled at the University of Siena in 1579 ). 54 volumes of this collection have been in the Graz University Library since the abolition of the Josephine monastery, two returned to the monastery library in 1803.

In 1424 the Peterskirche was donated on the monastery grounds. In 1471 a fire devastated the collegiate church, the Peterskirche and the hospital building. From 1639 on, the early Baroque building was carried out under the direction of master builder Domenico Sciassia (1599 / 1603–1679), who was also the master builder of Mariazell . It was not completed until 1692, after Sciassia's death. From 1730 to 1750 the monastery was extended by the south wing towards the market. In 1835 the grammar school and the boys' choir that existed before it was closed were re-established, both of which existed until 1932.

On January 4, 1786, as part of the Josephine church reform begun in 1782, the monastery was abolished by an imperial decree, and the library holdings were transferred to the Graz University Library. However, the conservative Emperor Franz II reversed the repeal as early as 1802, the library subsequently returned to St. Lambrecht, the historically valuable manuscripts remained in Graz.

After the Anschluss in May 1938, the monastery was confiscated by the National Socialists and administered by SS-Obersturmbannführer Hubert Erhart. The convent had to move to Mariazell, the name changed to "St. Lambrecht Abbey with seat in Mariazell". The entire collection of incunabula in the library as well as prints from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries and a number of older Styriaca, a total of 2100 titles, came to the Styrian State Library in Graz. The rest survived the repeal and the war on the spot. After restoring part of the confiscated holdings in 1946, the total holdings of around 30,000 volumes were reorganized in the systematic order of the 19th century.

On May 13, 1942, the first transport of around 90 concentration camp prisoners from Dachau arrived, and the monastery became a satellite camp of the Dachau concentration camp . About a year later, 30 Bible Students ( Jehovah's Witnesses ) from Ravensbrück arrived, for whom a second satellite camp was set up, as women and men had to be separated according to the guidelines of the SS . From November 20, 1942 until the liberation in May 1945, the men's camp was subordinate to the Mauthausen concentration camp and thus became a satellite camp of the Mauthausen concentration camp . This meant a worsening of the prison conditions, since the return transport to the main camp - Mauthausen was a camp of level III - " return undesirable " - meant certain death. The women's camp remained under the administration of the Ravensbrück concentration camp until the women's camp in Mauthausen was founded on September 15, 1944 . In addition to working in forestry and agriculture, the imprisoned men had to build a settlement in Sankt Lambrecht, whose houses still belong to the monastery today. The construction of a villa northwest of the monastery for Erhart's family began, but was no longer completed. The female inmates were mainly used for household chores. The monastery courtyard served as a place of appeal and was therefore visible to the population, while the collegiate church retained its function as a parish church.

In 1946 the monks returned. Today the monastery administers and cultivates a total of around 5000 hectares of agricultural and forestry property. In addition, the monks strive to secure the monastery economically for the future. In cooperation with the surrounding farms, a local, wood chip-powered district heating system is operated, which supplies the whole place. The monastery also operates a "School of Being", a seminar center with a spiritual and creative direction and a management school. They also try to increase the cultural and religious tourism of the pilgrims and to market their own products.


Like all monasteries in the Middle Ages, the monastery was an educational center. In 1835 a country high school with five classes was set up in the monastery; the school existed until 1932. Well-known former students are the priest and pacifist DDDDr. Johannes Ude , the journalist Hans Grasberger (he attended the boys' school from 1836 to 1898) and the astronomer Rudolf Falb , who was a student in the monastery from 1850 to 1854.


View of the old herb garden
  • Romanesque Karner
  • Gothic collegiate church
  • Peterskirche (donated in 1424), renovation and redesign in 2017
  • Early baroque monastery building by master builder Domenico Sciassia
  • Abbey museum with art history collection (carved sculptures, panel paintings, paintings from the 13th to 19th centuries)
  • Folklore Museum of P. Romuald Pramberger and Bird Museum of P. Blasius Hanf
  • Abbey Library (not open to the public)
  • Garden area

Collegiate church

The collegiate church is the "main church" of the Benedictine monastery St. Lambrecht, both monastery and parish church. Originally the current Karner served in the cemetery next to the collegiate church as a parish church, later the Peterskirche, which is opposite, on the bastion of the collegiate court.


Today's collegiate church is a three-aisled Gothic hall church. The ribbed vault rests on eleven pairs of pillars. The master builder Domenico Sciassia designed the Renaissance portal . In the 17th century (high altar, west gallery) and in the 18th century (pulpit) the collegiate church underwent a number of baroque changes. In the north side of the collegiate church there is a chapel with a replica of the Mariazell altar of grace.


The Karner is a simple, Romanesque round building with a shingle-covered conical roof. It stands in the cemetery on the north side of the collegiate church and serves as a cemetery chapel.


St. Lambrecht Abbey - Peterskirche in winter

There are three valuable winged altars in the Gothic St. Peter's Church, built in 1424. The high altar, with an antler-like crown, is a typical work of the Carinthian (Villacher) workshops around 1515. The carved reliefs in the shrine, predella and on the wings show the Lord's Supper, the Carrying of the Cross and the Passion. The two side altars contain valuable Gothic pieces, such as a "beautiful Maria" from around 1430 and the panels on the left side altar, which show a crucifixion and holy figures (around 1435) and are attributed to the master of the "St. Lambrecht Crucifixion Altars".

Monastery building

The imperial hall

On the upper floor of the west wing there is the “Kaisersaal”, completed in 1645, as the abbot's reception hall for high-ranking personalities. The early baroque stucco work is by Matthias Camin and Taddeo Galli, the paintings by Melchior Mayr. The central painting shows the wedding at Cana with the miracle of the multiplication of wine by Jesus. On the first floor of the east wing, the monastery museum, the “Art History Collection”, was set up in the guest rooms that were formerly known as the “Prince's Room”. Here, in particular, the remains of the Gothic furnishings of the monastery and its churches are shown. Mention should be made of a panel of the family tree of Jesus made in the monastery and a so-called " Beautiful Madonna ". The end of these rooms is the “Prelate's Hall” from 1739 with portraits of the founders and benefactors as well as the former abbots.

In the Folklore Museum, parts of the collection created by P. Romuald Pramberger (1877–1967) from the areas of religious folk art, local trades and rural life are shown.

A part of the bird collection of the ornithologist P. Blasius Hanf (1808-1892) is known, of which around 500 specimens are on display. It shows the bird life in the vicinity of the pen.


Secure reigns only existed from Abbot Otto von Laa (1311–1329). There are only sporadic mentions of the abbots before (first or last mention is given). The abbots Rapoto, Magnus, Ernest and Nikolaus could not be classified chronologically.

  • Hartmann , 1106 to 1109 (called 1103)
  • Jacob, called 1109
  • Udalrich I., called 1124/1148
  • Wolfram, called 1149
  • Gotfried, called 1151
  • Otker, called 1155/1159
  • Wernher , called 1164/1178
  • Peringer, mentioned 1181 (?) / 1214
  • Wolfker (1st period), called 1216/1218
  • Waltfried, called 1221/1226
  • Wolfker (2nd period), called 1231/1232
  • Permann, 1233–1259 (?)
  • Gotschalk, called 1260/1279
  • Burchard, 1279-1288
  • Friedrich, called 1288/1301
  • Heinrich I, named 1306/1311
  • Otto von Laa, 1311-1329
  • Ortolf, 1329-1341
  • Johann I., 1341-1359
  • Peter, 1359-1376
  • David Krall, 1376-1387
  • Rudolf Lichtenegger, 1387–1419
  • Heinrich II. Moyker, 1419–1455
  • Udalrich II. Ratmannsdorfer, 1455
  • Johann II. Schachner, 1455–1478
  • Johann III. Sachs, 1478-1518
  • Valentin Pierer, abbot coadjutor 1514–1518, abbot 1518–1541
  • Thomas I. Berner, 1541–1549
  • Sigmund Kogler, 1549-1562
  • Johann IV. Trattner, 1562–1591
  • Thomas II. Eder , 1591–1596
  • Johann Hoffmann , administrator 1596–1597
  • Christoph Kirmeser , Commendatar Abbot 1597–1598
  • Martin Alopitius, 1599-1613
  • Johann Heinrich Stattfeld, 1613–1638
  • Benedikt Pierin, 1638–1662
  • Franz von Kaltenhausen, 1662–1707
  • Anton Stroz , 1707-1724
  • Kilian Werlein , 1725-1737
  • Eugen Graf Inzaghi , 1737-1760
  • Berthold Sternegger , 1760–1786
  • Pen repealed 1786–1802
  • Joachim I. Röck , 1802-1810
  • Ferdinand Herzog , 1811-1820
  • Rupert Schmidmayer, administrator 1820–1832
  • Kilian Drocker, administrator 1833–1835
  • Joachim II. Suppan , 1835–1864
  • Alexander Setznagel , 1865–1887
  • Norbert Zechner , 1887–1888
  • Othmar Murnik , 1888–1901
  • Severin Kalcher , 1902–1922
  • Wilhelm I. Zöhrer , 1922–1931
  • Viktorin Weyer , administrator 1931–1932
  • Hermann Peichl , administrator 1932–1936
  • Viktorin Weyer, 1936–1939
  • Wilhelm II. Blaindorfer , 1939–1977
  • Maximilian Aichern , abbot coadjutor 1964–1977, abbot 1977–1982
  • Otto Strohmaier , 1982-2013
  • Benedikt Plank , since 2013

Eminent Fathers

Abbey parish churches

Incorporated parishes of the monastery are St. Lambrecht (with St. Blasen and Maria Schönanger ), Mariazell , Mariahof , Neumarkt , Zeutschach , Steirisch Laßnitz. Formerly incorporated parishes: Aflenz , Kleinfeistritz, Linz, Zeltweg , St. Marein im Mürz valley , Obdach (St. Wolfgang) , Seewiesen, Turnau, Veitsch, Weißkirchen , Scheiben im Murtal, Scheifling (St. Lorenzen).

The diocesan parishes of Perchau, Greith and Gusswerk are also looked after from St. Lambrecht Monastery.

See also


  • Alfred Fischeneder-Meiseneder: The architecture of the Gothic in the east of Austria. Studies of sacred buildings in the 14th and 15th centuries with a focus on the period around 1400 . Diss. University of Vienna 2016, pp. 90–93.
  • Benedikt Plank : History of the St. Lambrecht Abbey. Festschrift for the 900th anniversary of the death of the founder Markward von Eppenstein, 1076–1976. St. Lambrecht 1976
  • Benedikt Plank: Benedictine Abbey of St. Lambrecht , Peda art guide No. 789/2010. Art Publishing House Peda, Passau 2010. ISBN 978-3-89643-789-1
  • Dietmar Seiler: The SS in the Benedictine monastery. Aspects of the St. Lambrecht and Lind Castle satellite camps. Graz 1994. ISBN 3-900993-33-5
  • Bernhard Sebl: possession of the "dead hand". Confiscation and restitution of the assets of the Benedictine monasteries of Admont and St. Lambrecht. = Publications of the Steiermärkisches Landesarchiv 32, Graz 2004
  • Herbert Staudigl: The private school of St. Lambrecht Abbey 1915-1932 . St. Lambrecht 2000.
  • Othmar Wonisch: The theater culture of the St. Lambrecht monastery , in: Journal of the Historical Association for Styria, special volume 2 (Graz 1957).
  • Ed. Bernhard Fabian: Handbook of the historical book collections in Germany, Austria and Europe , digitized by Günter Kükenshöner. Olms New Media, Hildesheim 2003.
  • Barbara Boisits: St. Lambrecht. In: Oesterreichisches Musiklexikon . Online edition, Vienna 2002 ff., ISBN 3-7001-3077-5 ; Print edition: Volume 5, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 2006, ISBN 3-7001-3067-8 .

Web links

Commons : Stift Sankt Lambrecht  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Abbey St.Lambrecht. Retrieved November 29, 2019 .
  2. ^ GF Schreier, Albert v. Muchar, A. Schrötter (Ed.): Steiermärkische Zeitschrift, 7th year, first issue, Graz 1842, pp. 92–93

Coordinates: 47 ° 4 ′ 17.9 ″  N , 14 ° 18 ′ 2.5 ″  E