Einsiedeln Abbey

Definition

Einsiedeln Abbey and Monastery (German: Kloster Einsiedeln), located some 31 km (19 mi) southeast of Zürich at the foot of a hill in the town of Einsiedeln in Canton Schwyz, Switzerland, is the most important site of Roman Catholic pilgrimage in Switzerland. Founded by the Benedictine monk and hermit Saint Meinrad around c. 835 CE, Einsiedeln Abbey has been the site of Marian devotion in Switzerland for over a thousand years. In its heyday during the Middle Ages and Early Modern Era, Einsiedeln was a wealthy abbey patronized by the Habsburg dynasty, and an important station on the Way of St. James (Spanish: Camino de Santiago de Compostela). The Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli preached at Einsiedeln Abbey before he began his Protestant ministry at Zürich's Grossmünster, but the abbey escaped the ravages of the Protestant Reformation. Famed for its Black Madonna, which dates to the 15th century CE, Einsiedeln Abbey remains an important site of Catholic of pilgrimage in Europe. It is arguably the most impressive monastic structure in Switzerland.

More about: Einsiedeln Abbey

Timeline

  • c. 835
    The Benedictine monk and hermit Saint Meinrad founds Einsiedeln Abbey in Switzerland.
  • 965
    The abbots of Einsiedeln Abbey begin to be styled as "princes of the empire."
Membership