Einsiedeln Abbey

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Place Category: Historic Monument and Religious FacilityPlace Tags: Convent & Monastery and Landmark & Historica

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  • Einsiedeln Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in the village of Einsiedeln in the canton of Schwyz, Switzerland. The abbey is dedicated to Our Lady of the Hermits, the title being derived from the circumstances of its foundation, for the first inhabitant of the region was Saint Meinrad, a hermit. It is a territorial abbey and, therefore, not part of a diocese, subject to a bishop. It has been a major resting point on the Way of St. James for centuries.HistoryMeinrad was educated at the abbey school on Reichenau Island, in Lake Constance, under his kinsmen, Abbots Hatto and Erlebald, where he became a monk and was ordained a priest. After some years at Reichenau, and at a dependent priory on Lake Zurich, he embraced an eremitical life and established his hermitage on the slopes of the mountain of Etzel. He died on January 21, 861, at the hands of two robbers who thought that the hermit had some precious treasures, but during the next 80 years the place was never without one or more hermits emulating Meinrad’s example. One of them, named Eberhard, previously Provost of Strassburg, erected in 934 a monastery and church there, of which he became first abbot.

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