Formerly one of the most celebrated Cistercian abbeys of Germany, situated in the Duchy of Brunswick between Lauterberg and Nordhausen. Founded in 1127 by Countess Adelheid of Klettenberg, it was confirmed in 1137 by Innocent II. The first monks came form the monastery of Altfeld or Camp in the Archdiocese of Cologne. In the time of the first abbot, Henry I (1127-28), two branch monasteries were founded: Pforta (in 1132) and Sichem, or Sittichenbach (in 1141) in the Countship of Mansfeld. Walkenried grew rich and owned lands as far as the Rhine and Pomerania. The monks gave much attention to mining, smelting, and fishing. In the fifteenth century the abbey began to decay, and the Peasants' War brought it to the verge of destruction. About Easter, 1525, a mob of 800 peasants of the southern Harz region marched against Walkenried. Abbot Paulus (1520-36) and the monks fled, carrying off the archives. The abbey was plundered and the tower of the church torn down. The next abbot, John VIII (1530-59), was very worldly and extravagant; in 1546 he and his monks became Lutherans. Thereupon Count Ernst of Honstein, as patron of the abbey, laid a complaint before Charles V. In 1548 the emperor ordered that everything in the abbey should be restored to its former condition, but his command was unheeded. After the count's death the entire Countship of Honstein became Lutheran, and in 1557 a Protestant school was opened at Walkenried. Up to 1578 four Protestant abbots had directed the abbey. The Court of Honstein now made his son administrator, and after the son's death Walkenried fell to the Duchy of Brunswick. During the Thirty Years War the abbey for a short time (1629-31) was restored to the Cistercians. The Peace of Westphalia put an end to the shadowy existence of the Protestant monastery and the abbey was secularized. In 1668 the school was closed. Since then Walkenried has been state property of Brunswick. The Gothic church, built during the years 1210-1290, was greatly damaged by the destruction of the tower by the peasants in 1525; today only a few picturesque remains are still in existence. The monastery was somewhat later in date than the church; its cloister is well preserved. The chapter hall has served since 1570 as a Lutheran church. The library was destroyed by the peasants, but the archives are preserved at Wolfenhuttel.
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 in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
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