Abtei Engelberg. Foto/Photo: TES.

Engelberg Abbey

The Benedictine abbey of Engelberg is located in a mountain valley at the foot of the Titlis (canton of Obwalden). The monastery was supported (financially) by the nobleman Konrad von Sellenbüren and founded in 1120 by monks from Muri under Abbot Adelhelm. The village of Engelberg then came into being and prospered.

In the middle of the 12th century, monks from the abbey St. Blasien (Black Forest) reformed the monastic life. Abbot Frowin (1147-78) founded a scriptorium, which flourished under him and his successors Berchtold (1178-97) and Heinrich (1197-1223). The abbey was a monastery for men and women for a long time. However, the women’s community moved to Sarnen (St. Andreas Monastery) in 1615.

Outside the valley, the abbey mainly had properties in Nidwalden, Lucerne, Aargau and Zurichgau. Since its foundation, the abbey has played a central political, religious and economic role in the Engelberg valley.

Until the French Revolution, the abbot was lord of the valley. In 1798, the villages in the valley became politically independent. Initially, the abbey was located in Nidwalden. Due to the resistance of this canton to the new confederation of 1815, the valley and the monastery were handed over to Canton Obwalden. The present Baroque monastery complex was built after the great fire in 1729.

(Source: Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz, Engelberg Kloster, https://hls-dhs-dss.ch/de/articles/008557/2011-03-31; www. kloster-engelberg.ch).