Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo


A Benedictine abbey situated on a hill of the same name, not quite four miles south of Krems, in Lower Austria. It was founded as a monastery for Canons Regular by Blessed Altmann, Bishop of Passau. In 1072 the high altar of the church was dedicated, but the solemn dedication of the monastery did not take place until 1083. The charter of foundation, issued 9 September, 1083, is still preserved in the archives of the monastery. In 1094 the discipline of the Canons Regular at Göttweig had become so lax that Bishop Ulrich of Passau, with the permission of Pope Urban II, introduced the Rule of St. Benedict . Prior Hartmann of St. Blasien in the Schwartzwald was elected abbot. He took with him from St. Blasien a number of chosen monks, among whom were Bl. Wirnto and Bl. Berthold, who later became Abbots of Formbach and Garsten respectively. Under Hartmann (1094-1114). Göttweig became a famous abode of learning and strict monastic observance. He founded a monastic school, organized a library, and built at the foot of the hill, a nunnery where Ava, the earliest German poetess (d. 1127), lived as a recluse. The nunnery which was afterwards transferred to the top of the hill, continued to exist until 1557.

The history of Göttweig, as might be expected, had its periods of decline as well as prosperity. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries it declined so rapidly that from 1556 to 1564 it had no abbot, and in 1564 not a single monk was left at the monastery. At this crisis an imperial deputation arrived at Göttweig, and elected Michael Herrlich a conventual of Melk, as abbot. The new abbot (1564-1604) restored the monastery spiritually and financially, and rebuilt it after it had been almost entirely destroyed by fire in 1580. Other famous abbots were: George Falb (1612-1631) and David Corner (1631-1648), who successfully opposed the spread of Protestantism in the district; Gottfried Bessel (q.v. 1714-1749), who rebuilt the monastery on a grander scale after it had burnt down in 1718, and inaugurated an era of great intellectual activity; and Magus Klein (1768-1783), during whose rule Göttweig became a centre of learning. The chief employment of the Benedictines of Göttweig has always consisted in parish work. Its present Abbot, Adalbert Dungel (b. 1842, abbot since 29 Sept., 1886) is also president of the Austrian Benedictine Congregation of the Immaculate Conception. To Göttweig belong (Dec., 1908) 65 priests, 5 clerics, 1 novice, 4 lay brothers , 31 parishes administered by Benedictines, 3 administered by secular priests, and 7 succursal churches. It has a library of 100,000 books and 1100 manuscripts, and valuable collections of coins, engravings, antiquities, and natural history.

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


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

  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...
  • Daily Readings for Monday, November 30, 2015
  • St. Andrew: Saint of the Day for Monday, November 30, 2015
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in ...
  • Who Needs Advent? I do!

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 33:14-16
14 "Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall fulfil the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your paths.5 ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
25 'There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations ... Read More

Reading 2, First Thessalonians 3:12--4:2
12 May the Lord increase and enrich your love for each other and for all, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 29th, 2015 Image

St. Saturninus
November 29: St. Saturninus Bishop of Toulouse and Martyr ... Read More