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History of Spital am Pyhrn

Hornstone scrapers and cave bear skeletons testify that the plateaus of the Dead Mountains, above the Teichl and Steyrtales, were already roamed and hunted by the Neanderthals. The Celts and Romans, later the Bamberg bishops and Nuremberg merchants, moved over the conveniently located, only 945m high Kalkalpenübergang, the Pyhrnpass.

Emperor Henry II donated the land at Pyhrn to the diocese of Bamberg. Bishop Otto I of Bamberg in 1190 handed the Spital am Pyhrn to a lay brotherhood. Spital am Pyhrn has been part of the Duchy of Austria since the 12th century. The hospital was converted in 1418 into a collegiate foundation. In the following centuries, the monastery gained great wealth. The Kollegiatstift Spital am Pyhrn was raised by Pope Paul V in 1605 to a provost. From 1714 to 1730, the church was designed by Johann Michael Prunner (with frescoes by Bartolomeo Altomonte and stucco work by Domenico Antonio Carlone) baroque. During the Napoleonic Wars the place was occupied several times.

The Benedictine monks of the abolished in 1806 monastery of St. Blasien in the Black Forest, moved with the entire inventory of the monastery, first to Spital am Pyhrn. But since the monastery Spital am Pyhrn was already abolished in 1807, the convent moved to St. Paul in 1809 in the Lavant Valley. The collegiate church Spital am Pyhrn became a parish church. In the night of 25 to 26 October 1841, a fire damaged the town of Spital am Pyhrn and its abbey building. Spital am Pyhrn has been part of the state of Upper Austria since 1918. After the annexation of Austria to the German Reich on March 13, 1938, the place belonged to the "Gau Oberdonau". At the beginning of 1945, the entire gold treasury of the Hungarian National Bank (33,000 kg) was stored in the crypt under the presbytery of the collegiate church. After 1945 the restoration of Upper Austria took place. An external restoration of the abbey took place from 1964 to 1967. From 1989 to 1997 the forestry enterprise Spital am Pyhrn was located in the abbey and since 2008 the abbey building belongs to the municipality Spital am Pyhrn. Today, the JUFA Hotel Pyhrn-Priel and the Museum "Between Heaven and Earth - Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and the World of 8,000" are located in the restored rooms of the monastery.