Amorbach Abbey
Amorbach Abbey was a Benedictine monastery located at Amorbach
Amorbach is a town in the Miltenberg district in the Regierungsbezirk of Lower Franconia in Bavaria, Germany, with some 4,100 inhabitants .- Location :...

 in the district of Miltenberg
Miltenberg (district)
Miltenberg is an administrative district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the city of Aschaffenburg, the districts of Aschaffenburg and Main-Spessart, and the states of Baden-Württemberg and Hesse .-History:During the Middle Ages there was continuous...

 in Lower Franconia
Lower Franconia
Lower Franconia is one of the three administrative regions of Franconia in Bavaria , Germany ....

 in Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...



It was one of four Carolingian
The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The name "Carolingian", Medieval Latin karolingi, an altered form of an unattested Old High German *karling, kerling The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the...

 foundations intended to establish Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 in the region of the Odenwald
The Odenwald is a low mountain range in Hesse, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in Germany.- Location :The Odenwald lies between the Upper Rhine Rift Valley with the Bergstraße and the Hessisches Ried in the west, the Main and the Bauland in the east, the Hanau-Seligenstadt Basin – a subbasin of...

 (the others were the monasteries of Lorsch
Lorsch Abbey
The Abbey of Lorsch is a former Imperial Abbey in Lorsch, Germany, about 10 km east of Worms, one of the most renowned monasteries of the Carolingian Empire. Even in its ruined state, its remains are among the most important pre-Romanesque–Carolingian style buildings in Germany...

, Fulda
Fulda is a city in Hesse, Germany; it is located on the river Fulda and is the administrative seat of the Fulda district .- Early Middle Ages :...

 and Mosbach
Mosbach Abbey
Mosbach Abbey was a Benedictine monastery, later a monastery of Augustinian Canons, in the town of Mosbach in the Odenwald, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.-Mosbach Abbey:...

). It is said to take its name from Amor, a disciple of Saint Pirmin
Saint Pirmin
Saint Pirmin , also named Pirminius, was a monk, strongly influenced by Celtic Christianity and Saint Amand.-Biography:...

, regarded as the founder. The abbey was consecrated in 734. By 800 it had become a Reichsabtei, the abbot being directly answerable to Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

. Pepin
Pippin of Italy
Pepin was the son of Charlemagne and king of the Lombards under the authority of his father.Pepin was the second son of Charlemagne by his then-wife Hildegard. He was born Carloman, but when his half-brother Pepin the Hunchback betrayed their father, the royal name Pepin passed to him...

 united it to the Bishopric of Würzburg
Bishopric of Würzburg
The Bishopric of Würzburg was a prince-bishopric in the Holy Roman Empire, located in Lower Franconia, around the city of Würzburg, Germany. Würzburg was a diocese from 743. In the 18th century, its bishop was often also Bishop of Bamberg...

, although control of it was much disputed by the Bishops of Mainz
Archbishopric of Mainz
The Archbishopric of Mainz or Electorate of Mainz was an influential ecclesiastic and secular prince-bishopric in the Holy Roman Empire between 780–82 and 1802. In the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, the Archbishop of Mainz was the primas Germaniae, the substitute of the Pope north of the Alps...


The abbey played an important role in the clearing and settlement of the vast tracts of forest in which it was located, and in the evangelisation of other areas, notably Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

: many of the abbots of the missionary centre of Verden upon Aller - later to become the Bishops of Verden - had previously been monks at Amorbach. It was severely damaged by the invasions of the Hungarians in the 10th century.

In 1525 the buildings were stormed and plundered during the German Peasants' War
German Peasants' War
The German Peasants' War or Great Peasants' Revolt was a widespread popular revolt in the German-speaking areas of Central Europe, 1524–1526. At its height in the spring and summer of 1525, the conflict involved an estimated 300,000 peasants: contemporary estimates put the dead at 100,000...

 by forces under the command of Götz von Berlichingen
Götz von Berlichingen
Gottfried "Götz" von Berlichingen and also known as Götz of the Iron Hand, was a German Imperial Knight and mercenary....

. During the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

 the abbey was attacked by the Swedes
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 in 1632, was dissolved for a short time between 1632 and 1634 and the lands taken by a local landowner, and although it was afterwards restored and the lands regained, there followed a period of decline and poverty.

In 1656 the Bishops of Mainz and Würzburg reached agreement: Amorbach was transferred into the control, both spiritual and territorial, of the Archbishop of Mainz, and significant building works followed. In the 1740s the site was completely refurbished in the Rococo
Rococo , also referred to as "Late Baroque", is an 18th-century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful...

 style, of which it remains a significant example, under the supervision of Maximilian von Welsch
Maximilian von Welsch
Johann Maximilian von Welsch was a German architect, High Director of Building and fortress master builder.- Life :Maximilian von Welsch is regarded as a prominent representative of baroque fortress building in Germany. Besides this he got reputation with the construction of several...

. Further extensive construction and decoration was undertaken in the 1780s, including in 1782 the installation of what was at the time the biggest organ
Organ (music)
The organ , is a keyboard instrument of one or more divisions, each played with its own keyboard operated either with the hands or with the feet. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria who is credited with...

 in the world.

The patrons were the Virgin Mary, with Saints Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrix
Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrix
Saints Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrix were a group of Christian Martyrs who died in Rome during the Diocletian persecution .-Legend:...



The abbey was dissolved finally in 1803 and given with its lands to the dispossessed Princes of Leiningen
Leiningen is the name of an old German family whose lands lay principally in Alsace, Lorraine and the Palatinate. The first count of Leiningen about whom anything certain is known was a certain Emich II , whose family became extinct in the male line when Count Frederick, a Minnesinger, died about...

, who still live there. Jurisdiction over the abbey and its territories passed to the government of Bavaria in 1816.


The Stumm organ of Amorbach Abbey was filmed in November 2005 in performances by John Scott Whiteley of music by J S Bach. The films will form part of the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

's 21st Century Bach series, for transmission in 2007 and subsequent DVD release.

External links

Website of the Princes of Leiningen Klöster in Bayern website

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