The Benedictine Abbey of Admont is the oldest existing monastery in Styria. It was founded in 1074 by archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg based on an endorsement by Saint Hemma of Gurk. The first monks came from St. Peter in Salzburg.
After the turmoil of the investiture controversy, Admont rapidly gained importance and became one of the most important monastic centers in the Southern German and Austrian area. In the course of the Hirsauer reform 25 abbeys were reformed by Admont. Also due to its significant writing school Admont raised to a cultural and spiritual center in the Middle Ages. Around 1120 a nunnery following the Benedictine rule, was added to the monastery. The nuns gained reputation for their high standard of education and literary activities. However, the nunnery’s existence ceased during the reformation period.
In 1644 the monastery’s high school was founded. Also in the 17th century the school for embroidery, led by brother Benno Haan, flourished and produced a breathtaking collection of splendid Baroque liturgical textiles. In 1735, in the course of the numerous building activities in the Baroque-era, architect Gotthard Hayberger began with a large-scaled reconstruction of the abbey that was later continued by Joseph Hueber.
In 1865 a fire consumed almost the entire monastery, with the exception of the library. In the years following this catastrophe, the monastery was only partly reconstructed. The abbey’s church, as it can be seen today, was built on the foundations of the old church and is the first neo-Gothic sacred building in Austria.
During the economic depression in the 1930s the monastery could only secure its existence by selling precious art treasures. After the expropriation by the Nazi regime in 1939 the monks returned to the monastery in 1945.
Today the abbey is a spiritual, cultural and economic center of international prominence. The monastery is in charge of 26 parishes, run a nursing home and a high school with around 700 students. The abbey’s companies currently employ approximately 500 people. Main cultural attraction of the abbey is its Baroque library.
Since 17 March 2017 abbot Gerhard Hafner presides over the monastic community of currently 26 monks. Before – from 1996 until 2017 – Bruno Hubl was abbot of Admont with his motto “Ex caritate confidens de adiutorio Dei” – Out of care and in trust of God’s assistance.
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