Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

(SALMANSWEILER)

Also called Salomonis Villa on account of the resemblance of its primitive buildings to Solomon's Temple.

Salem is an abbey situated near the Castle of Heiligenberg, about ten miles from Constance, Baden (Germany). The abbey was founded by Gunthram of Adelsreute (d. 1138) in 1136 during the reign of Pope Innocent II and Emperor Lothair II. Gunthram also gave the Abbot of Lucelle the necessary lands for the first Cistercian monastery in Alsace, the latter being a foundation of Bellevaux, first daughter of Morimond. Blessed Frowin, formerly the travelling companion and interpreter of St. Bernard, became its first abbot. He had been professed at Bellevaux, and was of the colony sent to found Lucelle; hence have arisen misunderstandings, some maintaining, erroneously, that Salem was founded from Bellevaux.

Under the wise and prudent administration of Blessed Frowin and his successors, the abbey soon became very prosperous. Extensive and magnificent buildings, erected in three squares, and a splendid church were constructed between 1182 and 1311. Salem was noted as the richest and most beautiful monastery in Germany, being particularly renowned for its hospitality. Amongst its greatest benefactors and patrons were Conrad of Swabia and Frederick Barbarossa. The former placed the abbey under the special protection of himself and his successors — hence the title of "Royal Abbey " which was renewed several times under Barbarossa and his successors; Innocent II also took the abbey under his particular patronage. Its growth was continuous, and even after having made three important foundations — Raitenhauslach (1143), Maristella or Wettingen (1227), and Konigsbrunn (1288) — it numbered 285 monks at the beginning of the fourteenth century. Its abbot, from 1454 on, was privileged to confer subdeaconship on his monks. The abbey gradually declined, though it numbered forty-nine priests and thirteen other choir religious in 1698, when Abbot D. Stephen (d. 1725) became Vicar-General of the Cistercian Congregation of Upper Germany. Caspar Oexle, who, as librarian, had increased the library to 30,000 volumes and a great number of manuscripts, was elected abbot in March 1802; in September of the same year the abbey was suppressed and given to the Princes of Baden, while the library was added to that of Petershausen, and finally sold to the University of Heidelberg . The church became a parish church; the grand tower with its fifteen bells, the largest weighing 10,000 lbs., was destroyed (1805), and the other buildings were used as the grand duke's castle. Eberhard, its fifth abbot, is honoured as a Blessed of the order. He was made Archbishop of Salzburg, and entrusted with various important missions by the Holy See. Blessed Henry, a lay brother, is also mentioned in the Cistercian menology.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Shoulder Wound of Christ HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Thursday, July 28, 2016
  • St. Innocent I: Saint of the Day for Thursday, July 28, 2016
  • Why don't people like Hillary Clinton? Yale researchers have an answer!
  • Blessing of an Automobile HD Video
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: God, Thank you for keeping me together
  • 'I especially loved watching the baby walking himself out of the ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
10 A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me to be a man of strife and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
2 rescue me from evil-doers, from men of violence save me.3 ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-46
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 27th, 2016 Image

St. Pantaleon
July 27: St Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black ... Read More