Notre Dame de Rouen. The façade of the Gothic Church in France. Photographer: Hippo1947. Licence: SHUTTERSTOCK.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Lambach Abbey, Austria.


Lambach Abbey Organ.
Illustration: LAMBACH ABBEY


  1. (Part 1, Lambach Klosterplatz) Thank you again, “Dom” Zephyrinus, and for the “Lambavh Abbey” link to a fascinatingly historic and miraculously surviving abbey and church. The link in both German and English contains an extensive history of the Abbey. Thus church was built under Abbot Placidus Hieber in 1652, the abbey history says, in the daring high baroque style designed by chief architect Filiberto Lucchese, an Austrian imperial court designer. Of course the Abbey foundation dates back several hundred years prior.

    However, under Hapsburg Emperor Joseph II, imbued with ideas of secular liberalism sweeping through Europe at the time, the abbey narrowly avoided dissolution under the secularization laws through the negotiation skills of the abbot, Abbot Amandus. The history says the 24 Benedictine monastery were dissolved, and Lambach was on the list, but Abbot Amandus negotiated the sale of prize vineyards and other property and essentially “bought off” the imperial authorities (showing as usual, that these larcenies of church property never were distributed among the common people anyway). (Cont.) -note by Dante P

  2. (Part 2, Lambach) Now, the really interesting part is that Napoleon Bonaparte, no friend of the Catholic Church, during his invasions of the Austrian Empire in 1805, and again in 1809, actually was billeted at the abbey twice. The 2nd time, May 3rd, 1809, an Austrian craftsman and gunsmith attempted to assassinate the emperor in the early morning hours, by posting himself in a tower of the abbey—-a plot that came to the attention of Abbot Fellner, who quashed the effort, which otherwise would have invited disastrous retribution for the abbey. The plot was kept secret nonetheless for many years to avoid retaliation—note by Dante P

  3. (Part III, Lambach Abbey) Another episode of importance occurred in July, 1941, when the Gestapo occupied the monastery and most of the monks were turned out. It was the next year turned into a munitions storage supply dump for the Luftwaffe, while there was a plan to turn the whole monastery into a school for the children of the Nazi elite. The National Socialist Party did occupy it until finally US Forces seized it in May, 1945, and it was returned to the monks.

    At the website there are many beautiful images of artwork in the church which survived all this, including the ceiling which has a magnificent painting of the Assumption of Mary, as well as many other stunning art works. (One has to think that those beautiful Catholic images rankled the Nazi elite— and yet the church and the artwork survived, and the Nazis are gone! Sic transit.. -Note by Dante P

    1. A magnificent contribution to this Article, Dante P. Thank You very much, indeed. One can be truly thankful to The Almighty that such a beautiful treasure as Lambach Abbey has survived all the vicissitudes that you have ably mentioned. Deo Gratias.


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