950 years living Monastery

1074 - 2024

Time travel

950 years
living monastery.

YEAR HUNDRED

11 00

THE 11TH CENTURY

On 29 September 1074, Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg consecrated a Benedictine monastery in the Styrian village of Admont in the presence of many ecclesiastical and secular dignitaries. The foundation was based on a rich donation (endowment, hence the name "monastery") from Countess Hemma von Gurk. The first 12 monks came to Admont from the old monastery of St Peter in Salzburg. The first monastery building was, of course, correspondingly simple. The location for the foundation of the monastery was deliberately chosen as an infrastructure was already in place here (the parish of St Amand in Admont, salt mining in Hall). Admont was to become a refuge for the strict reform spirit of Cluny and Hirsau, making it one of the many newly founded reform monasteries of the 11th century. The monastery was founded at a difficult time: it was the era of the investiture dispute between the emperor and the pope. As Admont was founded in Salzburg, the imperial party repeatedly attacked the young monastery.

1043

St Hemma donates large parts of her possessions to Archbishop Balduin of Salzburg with the express wish of ...

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Greeting card St Hemma of Gurk by Father Erwin Ehweiner OSB

Greeting card St Hemma of Gurk by Father Erwin Ehweiner OSB

1074

Inauguration of the Benedictine monastery
Admont by Archbishop
Gebhard of Salzburg

12 00

THE 12TH CENTURY

On 29 September 1074, Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg consecrated a Benedictine monastery in the Styrian village of Admont in the presence of many ecclesiastical and secular dignitaries. The foundation was based on a rich donation (endowment, hence the name "monastery") from Countess Hemma von Gurk. The first 12 monks came to Admont from the old monastery of St Peter in Salzburg. The first monastery building was, of course, correspondingly simple. The location for the foundation of the monastery was deliberately chosen as an infrastructure was already in place here (the parish of St Amand in Admont, salt mining in Hall). Admont was to become a refuge for the strict reform spirit of Cluny and Hirsau, making it one of the many newly founded reform monasteries of the 11th century. The monastery was founded at a difficult time: it was the era of the investiture dispute between the emperor and the pope. As Admont was founded in Salzburg, the imperial party repeatedly attacked the young monastery.

1103

The Admont monks elect an abbot themselves for the first time, namely Henry I (from Kremsmünster). He dies in the ...

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1120

Abbot Wolfhold from St Georgen in the Black Forest built a convent for women in the immediate vicinity.

1134

20 Admont nuns were sent to St Georgen for the reformation of the monastery.

1152

On the night of 10 to 11 March, there was a fire in the heating plant in the middle of Admont Abbey. An eyewitness report by Fr Irimbert f...

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1165

With Abbot Liutold, the Admont conventuals for the first time elect a confrère from among their own ranks as abbot.

1180

Styria was elevated to a duchy.

1185

Activation of the property by Pope Lucius III.

Screenshot around

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1189

In this year, Rudolf II is elected Abbot of Admont. During his time, many parishes fall to Admont Abbey. Much...

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13 00

THE 13TH CENTURY

On 29 September 1074, Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg consecrated a Benedictine monastery in the Styrian village of Admont in the presence of many ecclesiastical and secular dignitaries. The foundation was based on a rich donation (endowment, hence the name "monastery") from Countess Hemma von Gurk. The first 12 monks came to Admont from the old monastery of St Peter in Salzburg. The first monastery building was, of course, correspondingly simple. The location for the foundation of the monastery was deliberately chosen as an infrastructure was already in place here (the parish of St Amand in Admont, salt mining in Hall). Admont was to become a refuge for the strict reform spirit of Cluny and Hirsau, making it one of the many newly founded reform monasteries of the 11th century. The monastery was founded at a difficult time: it was the era of the investiture dispute between the emperor and the pope. As Admont was founded in Salzburg, the imperial party repeatedly attacked the young monastery.

1213

The Admont monk Dietmar was elected Abbot of Seitenstetten

1218

Establishment of the diocese of Seckau

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1230

Pope Gregory IX grants the abbots of Admont the right to wear the mitre during solemn services. The first ...

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1234

20 Admont nuns were sent to St Georgen for the reformation of the monastery.

1235

Emperor Frederick paid a visit to Admont Abbey for several days on his journey from Aquileia to Worms

Gallenstein Castle in St. Gallen in 1845

Gallenstein Castle in St. Gallen in 1845

1261

In this year, a great famine broke out and the monks fled to the Salzburg mother monastery of St Peter's and stayed in the...

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1275

In this year, Henry II is elected abbot. Due to his economic skills, he also becomes the "second ...

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1280

Admont Abbey was also represented by the Admonter-Hof in the provincial capital of Graz, which was only opened in...

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1297

Engelbert Poetsch, one of the most universal spirits of medieval Austria, is elected abbot. His Andean...

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14 00

THE 14TH CENTURY

1300

Admont Madonna:
Circa 1300 Replica after the copy in the collegiate church of Admont

Admont Abbey - Madonna statue in Admont Abbey Church © Thomas Sattler

Statue of the Madonna in Admont Abbey Church

1360

Gold, silk and pearl embroidery on a linen ground:
The tradition of Admont Abbey brings the mitre with archbishop's...

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15 00

THE 15TH CENTURY

1400

Shortly after the foundation of the monastery in 1074, a monastic medicine chest can already be found in old...

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Admont Abbey Pharmacy © Thomas Sattler

PHARMACY ADMONT

Admont Abbey Pharmacy © Thomas Sattler

PHARMACY ADMONT

1410

In this year, the pilgrimage church Frauenberg an der Enns is mentioned in a document for the first time. At that time, the G...

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Seal of the parish of Frauenberg an der Enns by Father Erwin Ehweiner OSB

Seal of the parish of Frauenberg an der Enns by Father Erwin Ehweiner OSB

1451

Following a decision by the Salzburg Synod, all Benedictine monasteries in the archdiocese and in the suffragan bishoprics of the...

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1483

In this year, Emperor Frederick III appointed Abbot Antonius Gottesgnad, a Friar Minor from Venice, to Admont. He is gil...

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16 00

THE 16TH CENTURY

1581

The Reformation fell on fertile ground in Admont, with only two priests still living in the monastery. The convent was completely...

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17 00

THE 17TH CENTURY

1628

Urban Weber is elected the 47th abbot. He is called the "third founder" due to his great building activity. In his...

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1644

Abbot Urban founds the grammar school and has a baroque vicarage built in Frauenberg an der Enns. In ...

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1675

This year, Adalbert Heufler zu Rasen und Höhenbühel, a great patron of the Frauenberg pilgrimage church, will be honoured ...

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1680

A fire destroys the Abbey's armoury.

1680

The Christmas outfit
The church vestment is made of pure silk and was created in 1680 by Brother Benno Haan.

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18 00

THE 18TH CENTURY

1712

In 1712, Abbot Anselm Luerzer von Zechenthal had the old refectory demolished and built a new refectory on the same site.

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1726

This year, Joseph Stammel, an important artist for Admont, begins his work.
The last four things:
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Admont Abbey - The Four Last Things by Josef Stammel

Klosterbibliothek - The four last things - Death

Admont Abbey - The Four Last Things by Josef Stammel

Klosterbibliothek - The Four Last Things - The Resurrection

Admont Abbey - The Four Last Things by Josef Stammel

Klosterbibliothek - The Four Last Things - Hell

Admont Abbey - The Four Last Things by Josef Stammel

Klosterbibliothek - The four last things - Heaven

St Stammel collegiate church nativity scene382

Christmas cot collegiate church

1776

Completed in 1776, the Abbey Library has been described in the past as the "Eighth Wonder of the World" and is...

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Admont Abbey - the world's largest monastery library © Stefan Leitner

World's largest monastery library © Stefan Leitner

1786

Admont Secondary School is relocated to Leoben.

19 00

THE 19TH CENTURY

1865

A major fire destroyed large parts of the monastery in 1865, with the exception of the library. In the following years, the monastery...

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1869

After the devastating fire, the new abbey church is consecrated.

Admont Abbey Church © Stefan Leitner

Admont Abbey Church © Stefan Leitner

1883

The first Kastner&Öhler opens in the Admonterhof in Graz.

1898

Father Gabriel Strobl establishes the Natural History Museum.

Natural History Museum c Stefan Leitner e1648800681898

Natural History Museum © Stefan Leitner

20 00

THE 20TH CENTURY

ADMONT ABBEY DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR

With the annexation of Austria to the National Socialist German Reich in March 1938, a time of restrictions, hardship and ultimately exile began for the clergy in Admont, as in many other monasteries. In 1938, the Benedictine monastery of Admont had a staff of 57 monks. The majority of the convent lived in the incorporated parishes, with around 20 Benedictines living, praying and working in the monastery.
Abbot Coadjutor Bonifaz Zölss led the community, with Fr Prior Franz Biesenberger at his side. Zölss can rightly be regarded as one of the most important abbots of Admont. His role during the economic crisis of the 1930s, as THE driving force behind community life during the period of exile and as restorer of the abbey after the Second World War cannot be overestimated. Like no other abbot of Admont before him, he tried with all the means at his disposal to keep the community together. This is demonstrated above all by his numerous "circular letters", which he wrote from exile using a typewriter. The resurrection of Admont after 1945, in terms of personnel, spiritually and economically, is to his great credit. Following the premature resignation of Abbot Oswin Schlammadinger in 1935, Fr Bonifaz Zölss was appointed apostolic administrator at Admont to reorganise the monastery's ailing economy. Naturally, the convent was not particularly enthusiastic about this "foreign" superior at first. However, the "Kremsmünsterer" soon earned respect and esteem, as he actually managed to bring about a positive change in the dismal situation.

1906

Emperor Franz Joseph visits Admont Abbey.

1911

The Abbey's first electrical power station is put into operation in Mühlau.

1938

At the beginning of 1938, the foundation's economy was stable and consolidated. Probably already in anticipation of an imminent...

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1939

Only nine Benedictines were left crammed together in the confiscated monastery building. Other priests had already been...

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Scan

1940

On 19 November 1939, the complete expropriation of all movable and immovable, direct and indirect...

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Contribution WK Stammelkapelle

Stammelkapelle

Contribution WK

1945

The Second World War ended in Europe on 8 May 1945 with the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht. Russian troops...

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PM WK

PM WK

PM WK

PM WK

1956

Koloman Holzinger OSB, born on 13 January 1915 in Bad Hall, was a Benedictine monk and from 1956 until his death in 1978 ...

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Abbot Kolomann Photo

Abbot Koloman Holzinger

1974

To mark its 900th anniversary, the monastery erects a new school building in Admont. Since this year, girls have also been admitted...

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1996

Bruno Hubl is elected abbot. He was appointed prior at the monastery in 1978 by Abbot Benedikt Schlömicher, and was also...

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P.Bruno 406x610

Former Abbot Bruno Hubl, O.S.B

21 00

THE 21ST CENTURY

2003

In addition to a late baroque abbey library, the Benedictine Abbey of Admont has been home to a large museum since 2003, which ...

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Admont Abbey - Museum © Stefan Leitner

Admont Abbey - Museum © Stefan Leitner

Admont Abbey - Museum of Art History © Marcel Peda

Admont Abbey - Museum of Art History © Marcel Peda

Museum workshop www

Museum workshop

Natural History Museum Wax Fruit Collection www

Natural History Museum Wax Fruit Collection

2008

Library restoration: A century-long project has been successfully completed. Since the completion of the library...

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Library restoration1

Library restoration

Library Restoration Frescoes www

Library Restoration of frescoes

2015

The entire book collection of the Baroque Abbey Library is cleaned after a necessary fumigation (pest infestation)....

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2017

Under the chairmanship of the Abbot President of the Austrian Benedictine Congregation Christian Haidinger, Abbot Gerhard Hafn...

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Admont Abbey - Abbot Gerhard takes office in 2017 © Marcel Peda

Abbot Gerhard takes office in 2017

Admont Abbey - Abbot Gerhard takes office in 2017 © Marcel Peda

Abbot Gerhard takes office in 2017

Admont Abbey - Abbot Gerhard takes office in 2017 © Marcel Peda

Abbot Gerhard takes office in 2017

Admont Abbey - Abbot Gerhard takes office in 2017 © Marcel Peda

Abbot Gerhard takes office in 2017

1043

Saint Hemma gives the Salzburg Archbishop Balduin large parts of her possessions with the express wish to found a monastery by the river Enns.

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1103

The first time the monks at Admont Abbey choose an abbot themselves, namely Henry I (from Kremsmünster). He dies during the flooding of the Enns in 1112.

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1152

In the night of 10-11 March, there is a fire in the heating plant right in the middle of Admont Abbey. An eyewitness account by Father Irimbert is available in Code 16 of the Abbey Archive between the commentary on the Books of Kings. The newly erected buildings are consecrated in autumn.

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1189

In this year, Rudolf II is elected Abbot of Admont. During his time, many parishes fall to Admont Abbey. Many of them are still looked after by Admont priests today.

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1230

Pope Gregory IX allows the abbots of Admont to wear a mitre in solemn masses. The first abbot to wear a mitre is Berthold I.

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1261

In this year, a great famine breaks out and the monks flee to the Salzburg Mother Monastery of St Peter and stay there for two years.

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1275

This year, Henry II is elected Abbot. Due to his economic skills, he is also called the "second founder". Later he also serves as Governor of Styria. He is the only Admont abbot who was murdered. This was carried out in 1297 by his nephew at the Kaiserau.

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1280

Admont Abbey was also represented in the provincial capital of Graz by the Admonter-Hof, which was only sold again in 1935.

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1297

Abbot Engelbert Poetsch is voted as one of the most universal minds of medieval Austria. His memory has always been held in high esteem in the house: from time to time he has even been tacitly regarded as a saint. For centuries, there has always been one member in the monastery who has taken on his name.

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1360

Gold, silk and pearl embroidery on a linen ground:
The tradition of Admont Abbey associates the mitre with Archbishop Gebhard. It was probably created in the 1360s, perhaps during the reign of Abbot Ulrich, who was allowed to wear a mitre, a liturgical headdress for bishops, as a papal privilege granted to the abbots of Admont. The pair of figures of Mary and St Blasius can be seen at the front. The neckband medallions contain bust portraits of the 12 apostles.

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1400

Shortly after the foundation of the monastery in 1074, a monastic medicine chest can be traced in old writings, which was also used by the general population from the 15th century onwards.

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1410

This year, the pilgrimage church Frauenberg an der Enns is mentioned for the first time in a document. At that time, antipope John XXIII granted various indulgences.

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1451

By a resolution of the Salzburg Synod, all Benedictine monasteries in the archdiocese and in the suffragan dioceses are reformed. This so-called "Melker Reform" was intended to procure a way of living according to the Rule of St Benedict through a more stringent lifestyle and more discipline.

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1483

In this year, Emperor Frederick III appoints a Minorite, namely Abbot Antonius Gottesgnad from Venice in Admont. He is considered an excellent representative of humanism. In addition to acquiring numerous precious manuscripts for the library, he also laid the foundations for the pilgrimage church Frauenberg Maria Rehkogel in today's Bruck/Mur.

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1581

The Reformation falls on fertile ground in Admont; Only two fathers live in the monastery. The women's monastery is closed down completely. In this year, John IV takes over. Hofmann, from St Lambrecht, becomes Abbot. Under him, the monastery experiences a revival: 24 monks place their vows into his hands. He is regarded as the driving force behind the Counter-Reformation of the Enns Valley.

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1628

Urban Weber is elected the 47th abbot. He is called the "third founder" due to his great building activity. During his time, 15 confreres take their vows.

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1644

Abbot Urban founds the Secondary School and builds a Baroque parish house in Frauenberg an der Enns. In the same century, an embroidery school flourishes under Brother Benno Haan from Copenhagen, from which a collection of magnificent Baroque-style liturgical textiles follows. In the course of the vigorous building activity during the Baroque period, the architect Johann Gotthard Hayberger begins a huge reconstruction of the monastery complex around 1735, which is continued by Graz architect Josef Hueber.

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1675

This year, Adalbert Heufler zu Rasen und Höhenbühel, a great patron of the pilgrimage church Frauenberg an der Enns, is elected Abbot.

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1680

The Christmas outfit
The ecclesiastical vestment is made of pure silk and was made by Frater Benno Haan in 1680. It is a set comprising fourteen textiles.

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1712

In 1712, Abbot Anselm Luerzer von Zechenthal had the old refectory demolished and built a new monastic dining hall on the same site.

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1726

This year, Joseph Stammel, an important artist for Admont, begins his work.
The last four things:
The four larger-than-life standing figures are characterised by pronounced gestures and facial expressions. They represent death, the resurrection (also the judgement), hell and heaven. The Admont nativity scene is a baroque nativity scene created by Josef Stammel in the Admont Abbey Church. The Admont nativity scene is traditionally only open at Christmas time, from the Christmas Mass on 24 December to the Feast of Candlemas on 2 February.

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1776

Completed in 1776, the Abbey Library has been described in the past as the "Eighth Wonder of the World" and is the world's largest monastic library. The structural concept was designed by architect Josef Hueber, the ceiling frescoes by Bartolomeo Altomonte and the sculptural decoration by sculptor Josef Stammel. The entire concept is exemplary of the Enlightenment: light was equated with knowledge and was intended to flow through the monastery library.

The book room houses around 70,000 books and the monastery's entire book collection comprises 200,000 volumes. These include over 1400 manuscripts, some of which are from the Middle Ages, as well as almost 1000 incunabula and early printed books.

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1865

A large fire destroys large parts of the monastery in 1865, with the exception of the library. In the following years, the monastery buildings are largely rebuilt. Admont Abbey Church is rebuilt on the old foundations and is the first large Neo-Gothic sacral building in Austria.

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1938

At the beginning of 1938, the abbey's economy was stable and consolidated. Probably anticipating the difficult times ahead, the convent elected Fr Bonifaz Zölss as abbot coadjutor with the right of succession. On 4 May 1938, he was conferred the abbot's benediction in the collegiate church, and in June, the veneration of the founder Hemma von Gurk as a saint was confirmed in a festive ceremony. These were the last two celebrations of a free religious community. On 19 July 1938, the Gestapo appeared at the monastery and placed it under provisional management. All the keys were taken from the monks, they were interrogated, some were arrested and the leading monks in the economy, forestry and agriculture were removed from their posts. The museums and collections were closed and the monastery library sealed. This trusteeship, under the anti-clerical Obersturmbandführer Hubert Erhart, who also ran St. Lambrecht Abbey, had the effect that Abbot Bonifaz had to apply in writing for permission for every little thing, no matter how obvious.

Soon after the takeover by the trustee administration, the grammar school was closed on 16 August 1938. A National Socialist, military-orientated Franz Ebner secondary school for boys was set up in the monastery and the entire north wing, the upper floors of the west wing (now the prelature) and the east wing were used for this purpose. In the process, "structural changes were made on a large scale. [...] Building rubble was thrown out of the windows into the courtyard, creating a huge pile of rubble."

In order to make the convent building suitable for the Gestapo commissioners, their families and dogs, as well as for the teaching staff, the cloister, choir chapel and refectory were evacuated by order. The convent moved to the semi-basement (now the guest wing) and to individual rooms on the 2nd floor in the east wing. However, a dividing wall was erected along the corridor so that the convent could no longer pass through the house to the collegiate church and the oratory, but had to go through the courtyard. A request by the abbot's coadjutor that the convent be allowed to walk along the corridor of the north wing (especially in winter) was refused. The few remaining rooms were damp and damaged due to water pipe damage caused by the massive rebuilding work on the floor above. "In the residential wing of the collegiate chaplains, pictures and furniture are improperly stacked in the corridors, completely covered in dust due to the rubble being thrown out and thus severely damaged." On 9 September 1938, the entire monastery property was declared "hostile to the state and the people" and confiscated. Dr Karl Garzarolli-Thurnlackh, director of the Provincial Picture Gallery at the Joanneum Provincial Museum, reported after an official visit to Admont that on 17 and 18 October 1938, the foundations of the library were blown up in order to create a large storage room and garages for cars. These demolitions were cancelled on his orders. The director of the Franz Ebner Secondary School, Prof Schweiger, lived in Abbot Bonifaz's prelature (north wing, 2nd floor). He intended to have the two life-size stone statues of Joseph and Mary, two works by Stammel, in the stairwell removed. This was also prevented, but both masterpieces were covered with wooden shutters for years. Garzarolli-Thurnlackh also reported that the rooms of Fathers Ambros Löffler and Ubald Welli, who had been imprisoned in the meantime, "were in a state of indescribable devastation. Pieces of furniture, clothing and, above all, linen were open - visibly removed from the rooms."

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1939

Only nine Benedictines were left crammed into the confiscated monastery building. Other priests had already been expelled from the country or had to find shelter in parish courtyards. Those who remained were not allowed to enter the gardens or other rooms of the monastery (such as the library). Nevertheless, communal prayers were held in a simple and makeshift choir chapel, with a small room serving as a refectory. Meals were still graciously prepared by the monastery kitchen, even if there were constant problems and teasing. "The monastery had become a closed Nazi castle."

Once again, trustee Erhart planned to restrict the convent's premises. Abbot Boniface, who still saw himself as the owner of the house, naturally opposed this, as the few rooms left to the convent were already too small and it would no longer have been feasible to accommodate novices. He also questioned whether "the cramming together of the convent and the two abbots in the low mezzanine floor of the first floor could still be considered appropriate." On 23 June 1939, the abbot's coadjutor could only report to the prior of the Schottenstift: "Half of the convent flats and the refectory had to be ceded to the Nazi educational centre and for the private flats of the professors. [...] An orderly monastic life with enclosure is no longer possible under the given circumstances."

After the majority of the manuscripts and incunabula had already been delivered to Graz, in May 1939 the valuable paraments, the church silver and later also the paintings and statues were removed. Neither Abbot Boniface nor the convent were informed of this.

By order of the Gestapo on 19 November 1939, the complete expropriation of all movable and immovable, direct and indirect assets of the Benedictine monastery of Admont was carried out in favour of the German Reich and the province of Styria. The remaining convent had to leave the monastery by 1 January 1940.
"At Christmas, Abbot Boniface held the last pontifical mass in the time-honoured cathedral, which was now deserted, abandoned to the abomination of desolation. [...] As a sign of hope and confidence, the Advent wreath hung in the collegiate church at Admont for the first time." The convent of Admont had not disbanded despite its exile, "but continued to exist as a spiritual organisation". Abbot Coadjutor Boniface led the religious community from Kremsmünster, later St Gallen, particularly through the aforementioned "circular letters". Only the parish clergy of Admont, parish priest Fr Tassilo, chaplain Fr Blitmund and sacristan Br Karl remained behind, in a room next to the collegiate church. The last three Benedictines remaining in Admont ...
Sources: Admont parish chronicle, 1st part
AT-ABBA A-510
AT-ABBA A-511
AT-ABBA A-518

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1940

On 19 November 1939, the entire movable and immovable, direct and indirect assets of the Benedictine monastery of Admont were expropriated in favour of the German Reich and the province of Styria. The remaining convent had to leave the monastery by 1 January 1940. The Benedictine community of Admont found refuge in various parishes of the monastery and also in other monasteries that had not yet been confiscated. The last Benedictine to remain was Fr Tassilo Riegler, who, as parish priest of Admont, carried out pastoral care locally under difficult circumstances. As Kremsmünster Abbey was also taken over by the National Socialist regime in 1941, Admont Abbot Bonifaz Zölss, who had been living there since January 1940, moved back to Styria, namely to the vicarage in St Gallen. There he lived out his abbot's motto to the full: "Monasterio et fratribus" - for monastery and brothers; he tried to keep the scattered monastic community together through his numerous circulars, which he wrote using an old typewriter. During these years, Abbot Boniface appointed or dismissed priests or chaplains in the Admont parishes, informed the friars about the well-being of the exiled fathers and even had internal monastic committees such as the seniors' council elected. Even though the monastery building in Admont was no longer allowed to be inhabited, but served various party-political purposes, the convent continued to exist as a spiritual community. This is only thanks to the person of Abbot Bonifaz Zölss!
Life in the parishes of Admont Abbey was very difficult, as the individual pastors were strictly controlled and spied on. As all the land and forests belonging to the monastery and the parishes were confiscated, there was a lack of heating material in all the parishes in winter. Abbot Bonifaz confirmed this in a written request dated 13 September 1941 to the trustee of the (former) Admont Abbey. In it, he asks for some wood from the abbey's forests for himself and against payment, as the rooms in the St. Gallen vicarage are high and wide and the winters are cold. Obersturmanführer Erhart graciously authorised the request of the former owner of the forests.
In 1940, a "Reich Research Centre for Alpine Agriculture" was set up in the former monastery building, and the National Socialist secondary school located in the monastery led to numerous remodelling and destruction of the building's interior in the following years by the families living there and by the staff of the trustee administration. Not even the works of art by the important baroque sculptor Josef Stammel remained untouched: The two stone sculptures, Mary and Joseph, located (to this day) in the stairwell of the north wing, were to be removed. The Christian iconography contradicted National Socialist ideas. The monument authorities were able to prevent this, and so the two baroque works of art were walled up behind Heraclitus panels. The two chapels in the monastery garden, also works by Josef Stammel, were treated with less care. Shortly before Corpus Christi in 1941, some pupils from the National Socialist secondary school raided the chapel of St Benedict with the knowledge and encouragement of their teachers, smashed the life-size sandstone statue of the saint and buried the remains.

At the same time, the entire convent garden was dug up and partially cleared. In 1943, the Admont Hitler Youth even stormed the Äbtegruft and the chapter crypt under the collegiate church because they hoped to find some riches in the bodies of the dead...
Several thousand medical and botanical works from the monastery library were stolen in 1941 and taken by the SS to the Dachau concentration camp. Here they were used as a scientific basis in the "Experimental Centre for Nutrition and Food". Although the books were returned to Admont after the war, they still bear the stamp of the Dachau concentration camp to this day.

In 1942 and 1943, a number of air-raid protection measures and fire watches were prescribed for the Abbey Library in the event of air raids. Refugees and wounded from war zones also found temporary accommodation there. The book collections - which were still in Admont - were simply stacked in the library.
The cause of the Kaiserau Castle fire on 3 September 1942 remains unclear to this day. The interior of the castle, which is of great artistic and historical value and contains numerous 18th century wall paintings, was affected by the fire as no fire-fighting measures were taken by the National Socialist municipal administration of Admont. The baroque castle was allowed to burn down and the remaining heavily damaged masonry was torn down. Instead, a typical Nazi barrack was erected on the same site. After the war, the castle was rebuilt in a simpler and smaller form. In the same year - as everywhere in National Socialist Germany - the church bells were taken down to be melted down for armaments. The large, five-tonne bell of the collegiate church, the "Blaserin", was simply thrown from the tower and shattered.

In total, two of the Admont Fathers were expelled from the district between 1940 and 1945, five were banned from the Gau and one was expelled from the Reich altogether. Five priests and three lay brothers were imprisoned for long periods of time - without any reason or conviction being given. Fr Rupert Pilz, Fr Giselbert Freitag and three lay brothers were conscripted for military service at the front.

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1945

The Second World War ended in Europe on 8 May 1945 with the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht. Russian troops subsequently reached Admont via Hieflau, while the British army moved via Liezen, Selzthal and Frauenberg and occupied the valley north of the Enns. In the general chaos, many former Wehrmacht soldiers and supporters of the NSDAP fled.

The Admont parish chronicle reports numerous instances of looting: "Many weapons and ammunition were found in the mountain huts. [...] The railway station was littered with helmets, fatigues and weapons, as was the monastery courtyard, and many roads, especially to Frauenberg and Weng, were blocked by cars and armoured cars." From 1938, the monastery building at Admont was misappropriated in line with National Socialist ideology, flats were installed for employees of the "Reich Research Centre" and the secondary school teaching staff, the Benedictine monks were expelled and parts of the valuable art collections and the manuscript and book collections were scattered to the four winds. Even after the end of the war, these families and individuals continued to live in the monastery building.
The premises of the monastery were not in good condition, many structural alterations had been carried out by the residents during the war. The "Ennstaler", in its issue of 4 November 1945, reported: "[...] furniture and other furnishings had to be procured. Because the house, which the Nazis had once appropriated with all its furnishings, had been remodelled by them for their own purposes and a large part of the furnishings had been taken away."

The restitution of the expropriated property and monastery possessions to the Benedictine convent was still a laborious process months after the official end of the war, complicated by numerous bureaucratic and legal hurdles. Abbot Bonifaz Zölss had to go through many official channels in order to reunite the monastery's assets and businesses that had been expropriated or sold by the Nazis. The prelate also had to bring home the many scattered members of the convent, which also proved to be no easy task.
On 17 October 1945, after six years of exile, the Admont Benedictines finally made their solemn return to their father's house. As there were no bells in the towers, as these had been removed for war purposes in 1942, the bells were rung from records, "which the Alpenland radio station played in an accommodating manner from the towers of the collegiate church" (Ennstaler). Abbot Bonifaz, the Benedictines present, numerous guests of honour and the Admont population were greeted at the church portal by parish priest Father Tassilo Riegler, who was the only Benedictine left behind to work in this place during the war years. To the sounds of the organ, the procession into the decorated church and the pontifical mass with Abbot Bonifaz took place, which was musically organised by the Admont church choir with the "Cäcilienmesse" by Josef Gruber. Prior Dr P. Hildebert Tausch gave the sermon on this special day in the history of the abbey. With the meaningful phrase "We are back", he expressed his joy that the Benedictine convent was able to return home. He thanked God in particular, as he had "protected our house from the destruction of the war", but also "protected us in our exile". Fr Prior also thanked the people of Admont for their loyalty to the church and to their parish priest, Fr Tassilo, during the war. Prior then explained the mission of the Admont Benedictines, based on the principle "Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus - God should be glorified in everything" and the famous "Ora et labora - Pray and work": the glorification of God through prayer and work, as has been practised in this place for around 900 years. The monastery was once again to become a place of prayer for the intentions of the church and all the people entrusted to it with their worries and labours. Prior Hildebert also mentioned Admont as a place of work and knowledge transfer, as a pastoral centre for the many incorporated parishes. The return of the Benedictines should not only be a continuation of the previous work, but also "the beginning of something new": youth pastoral care, devotion to the Sacred Heart, but also the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the monastery's patron saint Blasius and the founder Hemma von Gurk should "receive new impetus". Furthermore, according to the prior, it was "the special plan of our Most Reverend Abbot to revitalise our old Marian monastery. Lord Abbot to subject our old Marian shrine in Frauenberg to a thorough renovation and embellishment as soon as conditions permit."

With a view to the National Socialist reign of terror and the suffering of the war, the prior concluded his sermon: "In the past seven years, we have experienced where a construction without God leads: to the humiliation, even the degradation [sic!] of man, to the general destruction, to the destruction of all culture. Only that which is founded on God can endure."

The service ended with a heartfelt "Great God, we praise you" in the collegiate church, which, as the "Ennstaler" reported, "had not seen so many visitors for a long time as on this feast day". The service was followed by a successful surprise: representatives of the British military government and the Styrian provincial government returned St Gebhard's staff (from the 12th century) to the abbot and convent, which had been taken to Graz along with numerous other works of art after the National Socialist takeover of the monastery. This oldest symbol of the monastic community of Admont was now back in the hands of the monks and meant a clear encouragement for them to make a new start. October also saw the opening of the monastery grammar school with a first and third class and a total of over 100 pupils.

Sources:
Admont parish chronicle, 1st part
AT-ABBA A-517
AT-ABBA A-518

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1956

Koloman Holzinger OSB, born on 13 January 1915 in Bad Hall, was a Benedictine monk and abbot of the Benedictine monastery in Admont from 1956 until his death in 1978. Originally a member of Kremsmünster Abbey, he served as a soldier in the Second World War. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1940, he took on various pastoral duties until he was elected Abbot of Admont in 1956. During his time in office, he brought about numerous reforms in the spiritual, personnel and economic areas of the abbey.

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1974

On the occasion of its 900th birthday, the monastery erects a new school building in Admont. Since that year, girls have also been admitted.

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1996

Bruno Hubl is elected Abbot. In the monastery, he is appointed Prior in 1978 by Abbot Benedikt Schlömicher, and is also a novice master and member of various liturgical commissions. After the sudden resignation of Abbot Benedikt Schlömicher, Father Prior Bruno Hubl is elected Abbot by the monks of Admont Abbey on 1 August 1996. He receives the benediction on 1 September 1996 in the Abbey Church by Bishop Johann Weber.
He is a member of the Presidium of the Austrian Benedictine Congregation until 2009 and has a seat in various diocesan and supraregional bodies. His tenure includes the restoration of large parts of the monastery complex and the world-famous monastery library, as well as construction of the new museum and the meeting house in Graz, which opens on 6 October 2002.
On 23 March 2009, Abbot Bruno announces his resignation. However, he is re-elected on 27 April. On 30 April, after three days of consideration time, he resumes his duties. In his acceptance speech, he emphasises that he was serious about resigning. However, his confrères' trust in him make him take up office again as Abbot.

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2003

Admont Benedictine Abbey has housed a Late Baroque abbey library and a large museum since 2003, which extends to four floors in two sections of the building. The exhibits include medieval manuscripts and early prints, art from the Middle Ages to the present, and a collection of natural history artefacts. In addition, a multimedia presentation of the Abbey, special exhibitions and a panorama stairway are offered.

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2008

Restoration of the library: This project of the century was successfully completed. Since the completion of the library hall in 1776, never before have such works been carried out: During three major phases of work from 2004 to 2008, all the stone and metal parts, the ceiling frescoes, the entire sculpture decoration and all the wooden components were restored. The entire inventory of books, about 70,000 of them, was cleaned and examined for possible damage. Over 5,000 books have been restored. During this restoration phase, the Abbey Library remained open to visitors.

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2015

The Abbey Library's entire Baroque collection of books was cleaned after necessary fumigation (pest infestation). 70,000 books were competently cleaned and rearranged. The project is expected to be completed by 2016.

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2017

Abbot Gerhard Hafner was elected 68th Abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Admont on 25 January 2017 under the presidency of Christian Haidinger, Abbot President of the Austrian Benedictine Congregation. He took office on 17 March 2017, the seventieth birthday of his predecessor Abbot Bruno Hubl. His Benediction took place on 23 April 2017 in Admont Abbey Church.

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