28 July 2023
Count Radebot of Habsburg and his wife Ita of Lorraine founded the Benedictine monastery in 1027 on the territory of present-day Muri (Canton Aargau). Bishop Rumold consecrated the church of St. Martin on 11 October 1064.
The women’s convent moved to Hermetschwil in 1140. The Acta Murensia (1150-1180) are an essential historical source for regional political developments and the rise of Habsburg. In the 12th century, the Habsburgs built Havichsburg (Hawk) Castle in Habsburg, and the rise to power began.
Emperor Leopold, 1st (1640-1705) of the Holy Roman Empire, bestowed the dignity of an Imperial Prince on the abbot in 1701 and raised the monastery to the status of a prince abbey.
Eight centuries after 1027, the abbey developed into one of the wealthiest abbeys in Switzerland. The Romanesque crypt, the Gothic high choir and the Baroque central building bear witness to this status.
The stuccowork, frescoes and interior decoration of the later Rococo style unfold lavish splendour. The stained-glass windows are the finest art of Renaissance stained-glass painting.
The Romanesque and Gothic three-nave basilica was rebuilt at the end of the 17th century. The result was the Baroque octagon, Switzerland’s largest sacred central room. The church’s five organs and acoustics are musical wonders from the 18th century.
In 1841, the canton of Aargau abolished and dissolved the monastery. The monks and the abbot moved to Gries near Bolzano and Sarnen (Obwalden). The convent of Muri continues to function there to this day.
The museum shows the impressive history of the monastery.
(Source and further information: Muri Monastery)
See also: Via Habsburg