Benediktbeuren was founded as a strategic base at the important pass road “Kesselbergstraße” about 725 a.d. by Karl Martell, a important member of the Carolingian dynasty. He was the grandfather of Charlemagne (Charles the Great) and he fended of the Arab / Muslim expansion in Europe in the battle of Poitiers 732 a.d. A monastery was sanctified here 739/740. After the nuns from nearby monastery Kochel were exiled by Hungarian invadors (908, 955), a second monastery, a nunnery was set up on the same compound. Both were destroyed again by the Hungarian 955. But it was soon resettled later by the Benedictine monks from monastery “Tegernsee” and became an important school for writing and healing herbal sience.
They still have a nice herbal garden here built as a mystic labyrinth you can walk through.
The Ringelblume helps against bruises and skin irritations, the magical Hauswurz also against lightning stroke.
Theological, philosophical and natural science was performed here in a gymnasium and university ever since.
It was dissolved 1803 during the “Säkularisierung” under Wittelsbacher Maximilian I. (who became king under Napoleons rule).
Scientist “Joseph Fraunhofer” set up a science institute here.
He is known for the discovery of the “Fraunhoferschen Linien”, as part of his optical spectral analyses. He also built modern telescopes which were called “Fraunhofer” in Bavaria at that time. His telescopes were used in Observatory world-wide and he also developed a special way to attach the telescopes on bases known as the “Deutsche Montierung”, still used for smaller and medium sized telescopes these days. The Fraunhofer-Society is still operating on the compound dealing with and developing conservation and energy saving within old buildings. Fraunhofer is commemorated in the Bavarian Ruhmeshalle (hall of fame auf der Wiesn, Munich)
It later was used as military hospital and agricultural plant by the state (1920’ties).
1931 it again was used by the religious community of the Salesianer Don Boscos as theological and philosophical university. There is a youth hostel now too and an education center. I even was here before for some days with our school quire.
Sheila noticed, they also produce chocolate candy now; so I had to get us a box which we wanted to share.
In the splendid church of the monastery which carries the title “Basilica Minor” there is the famous Arm Relict of Benedikt of Nursia which was given to the monastery by Charlemagne (Charles the Great) in the 8’th century, turning Bendiktbeuren into an important pilgrimage site.
We also shared coffee and cake in the hall with the old impressive gothical ceiling.
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