Metten Abbey

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Engraving of Metten Abbey from the "Churbaierisches Atlas" of Anton Wilhelm Ertl, 1687 Ertl Metten.png
Engraving of Metten Abbey from the "Churbaierisches Atlas" of Anton Wilhelm Ertl, 1687

Metten Abbey, or St. Michael's Abbey at Metten (in German Abtei Metten or Kloster Metten) is a house of the Benedictine Order in Metten near Deggendorf, situated between the fringes of the Bavarian Forest and the valley of the Danube, in Bavaria in Germany.

Metten Place in Bavaria, Germany

Metten is a municipality in the district of Deggendorf in Bavaria in Germany. The town grew up around the Benedictine Metten Abbey, founded in 766. Metten is also the birthplace of former Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sepp Maier. Metten is also the past tense of met.

Deggendorf Place in Bavaria, Germany

Deggendorf is a town in Bavaria, Germany, capital of the Deggendorf district.

Bavarian Forest low-mountain range in Bavaria, Germany

The Bavarian Forest is a wooded, low-mountain region in Bavaria, Germany that is about 100 kilometres long. It runs along the Czech border and is continued on the Czech side by the Bohemian Forest. Most of the Bavarian Forest lies within the province of Lower Bavaria, but the northern part lies within Upper Palatinate. In the south it reaches the border with Upper Austria.



The abbey was founded in 766 by Gamelbert of Michaelsbuch. For many centuries Metten was under the lordship of the Dukes and Electors of Bavaria. When Charlemagne stayed in Regensburg for three years after 788, Utto turned his abbey over to the Frankish ruler, making the Ducal Abbey a Royal Abbey. After the Carolingians became extinct, Metten was turned into an Imperial Abbey. Besides the work of land clearance in the Bavarian border territories, the monks were very active in education. Members of the abbey were not only schoolteachers, but also members of the Bavarian Academy of Science in Munich and professors of philosophy and theology in Freising and Salzburg.

Gamelbert of Michaelsbuch

The Blessed Gamelbert was a Christian priest, who worked in the 8th century in the area of the present Deggendorf in Bavaria in Germany.

Munich Capital and most populous city of Bavaria, Germany

Munich is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria, the second most populous German federal state. With a population of around 1.5 million, it is the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, and thus the largest which does not constitute its own state, as well as the 12th-largest city in the European Union. The city's metropolitan region is home to 6 million people. Straddling the banks of the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps, it is the seat of the Bavarian administrative region of Upper Bavaria, while being the most densely populated municipality in Germany. Munich is the second-largest city in the Bavarian dialect area, after the Austrian capital of Vienna.

Philosophy The rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct.

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?

Gerhard, Bishop of Passau was abbot in the 10th century.

Abbot Religious title

Abbot, meaning "father", is an ecclesiastical title given to the male head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not the head of a monastery. The female equivalent is abbess.

After secularisation in 1803 the abbey's property was confiscated, and by 1815 had all been auctioned off. Over a number of years Johann von Pronath acquired the greater part of the former premises and succeeded in persuading King Ludwig I of Bavaria in 1830 to re-establish the monastery, which by 1837 had been set up to incorporate a boarding school ( Gymnasium ), in continuance of its educational traditions, which the monastery has run to this day.

Ludwig I of Bavaria King of Bavaria

Ludwig I or Louis I was king of Bavaria from 1825 until the 1848 revolutions in the German states.

<i>Gymnasium</i> (Germany) secondary school

Gymnasium, in the German education system, is the most advanced of the three types of German secondary schools, the others being Realschule and Hauptschule. Gymnasium strongly emphasizes academic learning, comparable to the British grammar school system or with prep schools in the United States. A student attending Gymnasium is called a Gymnasiast. In 2009/10 there were 3,094 gymnasia in Germany, with c. 2,475,000 students, resulting in an average student number of 800 students per school.

The re-founded abbey was very active in re-settling new monasteries. Since 1858 it has been a member of the Bavarian Congregation of the Benedictine Confederation.

The Bavarian Congregation is a congregation of the Benedictine Confederation consisting of monasteries in Bavaria, Germany.

The Benedictine Confederation of the Order of Saint Benedict is the international governing body of the Order of Saint Benedict.

Besides the boarding school, the abbey runs various craft enterprises. The library, which is open for tours, contains over 150,000 volumes on theology, philosophy and history.

Dom Edmund Beck, a monk of Metten, edited many of the Syriac works of Saint Ephrem the Syrian in the Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium .

Syriac language dialect of Middle Aramaic

Syriac, also known as Syrian/Syriac Aramaic, Syro-Aramaic or Classical Syriac, is a dialect of Middle Aramaic of the Northwest Semitic languages of the Afroasiatic family that is written in the Syriac alphabet, a derivation of the Aramaic alphabet. Having first appeared in the early first century CE in Edessa, classical Syriac became a major literary language throughout the Middle East from the 4th to the 8th centuries, preserved in a large body of Syriac literature. Indeed, Syriac literature comprises roughly 90% of the extant Aramaic literature. Syriac was once spoken across much of the Near East as well as Anatolia and Eastern Arabia. Syriac originated in Mesopotamia and eventually spread west of Iraq in which it became the lingua franca of the region during the Mesopotamian Neo-Assyrian period.

Ephrem the Syrian Syriac deacon and a prolific Syriac-language hymnographer and theologian of the 4th century

Ephrem the Syrian was a Syriac Christian deacon and a prolific Syriac-language hymnographer and theologian of the fourth century.

The Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium is an important multilingual collection of Eastern Christian texts with over 600 volumes published since its foundation in 1903 by the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.. The present Secretary General is Andrea Schmidt of the University of Louvain (UCLouvain) in Louvain-la-Neuve.

A 1415 manuscript found in the abbey's library helped identify the meaning of the abbreviations for the Vade retro satana (Step back Satan) formula that appears on Saint Benedict Medals. [1] [2]


Like many Benedictine abbeys in Europe, the monks ran a school for local boys. St.-Michaels-Gymnasium is a state recognised coeducational day and boarding school still run by the abbey. It is a Humanistisches ("humanist") and Neusprachliches ("languages") gymnasium, meaning that its curriculum specialises in the classics and modern languages. [3] Notable alumni include educationist Aloys Fischer, diplomat Karl von Spreti, [4] military officer Vincenz Müller and Karl-Josef Cardinal Rauber.


  1. "?". Order of St. Benedict . Retrieved 4 August 2010.
  2. "?". Catholic encyclopedia . Retrieved 4 August 2010.
  3. "Schulprofil (School Profile)".
  4. Zedler, Jörg (2008). Karl Graf von Spreti: Bilder einer diplomatischen Karriere (in German). Herbert Utz Verlag. p. 21.

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Image of Saint Benedict with a cross and a scroll stating Vade retro satana based on the last page of the 1415 book found in the Metten Abbey library. StBenedictVadeRetroSatana.jpg
Image of Saint Benedict with a cross and a scroll stating Vade retro satana based on the last page of the 1415 book found in the Metten Abbey library.

Coordinates: 48°51′19″N12°55′04″E / 48.85528°N 12.91778°E / 48.85528; 12.91778