Sunday, September 11, 2016

Eisiedeln Church and Monastery

Eisiedeln Church and Monastery
Eisiedeln, Switzerland

Zurich south along Lake Lucerne to Eisiedeln
(one hour by train)
(Google Map)

"Einsiedeln Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in the town 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." (Link 1.)

Side entrance to Abbey

Church Exterior Detail

Church Exterior Detail
"In the German language the word einsiedler means hermit, and Switzerland's greatest pilgrimage shrine, the abbey of Einsiedeln, derives its name from being the 'place of the hermits'. While legends indicate the site was sacred in pre-Christian times, its historical fame began in the early 9th century. In 835, Meinrad, a young nobleman who had been a monk in the monastery of Reichenau, left the monastery to live a hermit's life in the deep woods of northeast Switzerland. For 26 years he lived alone in the woods with two crows as his only companions. In 861, two bandits came upon Meinrad in his hermitage and murdered him. Legends tell that Meinrad's two crows followed the bandits, hovering and shrieking in a strange manner, until the bandits were captured in Zurich, 30 miles away.
Lady Fountain in front of Abbey 
(Link 1.)
Church Interior
"When Meinrad had first come to the forest he had brought along one of the mysterious Black Madonna statues, considered by many scholars to be Christianized pagan Dark Goddesses. 
  • Black Madonna, Eisiedeln, Switzerland (Google Image)
"After Meinrad's death a small Benedictine cloister was built at the site of his hermitage and this cloister, housing the Black Madonna, soon became a pilgrimage site of great importance. The enormous abbey standing today rose over a period of many centuries and only legends are left regarding the sites sacred use in prehistoric times. Inside the church the primary object of pilgrimage visitation is the Chapel of Grace which houses a mid-15th century Black Madonna icon." (Link 2.)
Abbey Courtyard

Abbey Courtyard Statue

Photos: Taken in 2016 by RW while living in Basel, Switzerland.Link 1:
Link 2:

God, be with persecuted Christians throughout the world. Amen (SW.)

No comments:

Post a Comment