Sankt Peter, Salzburg
Saint Peter's Monastery, Benedictine monastery in Salzburg, 696/700 established by Saint Rupert in keeping with early Christian traditions, the oldest monastery in the German-speaking world, under the direct rule of the Archbishop until 987, when it was separated from the archdiocese. The monastery was an eminent intellectual and artistic centre: participation in the Christianisation of the Slavs in Carantania in the 8th century and in the christianisation of the Hungarians in the 9th century. From the 9th century to the 16th century masterpieces in the art of book production were created in Saint Peter's Monastery (especially Book Illumination and book binding), as well as in the art of gold smithing and stone masonry. The grammar school also enjoyed a venerable reputation. One of the most prominent abbots was Johann von Staupitz, 1522-1524, who was Martin Luther's superior and whom the latter considered a fatherly friend.
The core of the monastery church is Romanesque (1130-1143) and has a Romanesque narthex and portal recessed in several steps (both date from the 13th century), as well as an older tympanum (1160?), late Baroque façade, Rococo interior, Romanesque frescoes (1190-1240), altar paintings by M. J. Schmidt, vault and wall paintings by J. B. Weiß and F. X. König; gravestones (15th -18th centuries), including a memorial slab for Saint Vitalis (around 1430/1440) and the sarcophagus-like tomb of Hans Werner von Raitenau (d. 1593).
In the courtyard is a late Romanesque cloister with well-house (mid-13th century); early Gothic chapterhouse (first half of the 14th century) and the Gothic St. Mary's Chapel. In the cemetery is a late Gothic St. Margaret's Chapel (1485-1491) and "Catacombs" (probably hermitages from the 11th /12th centuries). The Benedictine theological college with frescoes by A. Faistauer, built in 1924-1926, also belongs to the monastery. The enormous costs of building the college coupled with massive debts meant that the monastery was forced to sell its most important art treasures to institutions in Vienna and American museums in 1931/1932. Since 1927 Saint Peter's Monastery has held the honorary title "Erzabtei" ("Archabbey").
Literature: Saint Peter's Monastery in Salzburg - Das älteste Kloster im deutschen Sprachraum, exhibition catalogue, Salzburg 1982; Festschrift Erzabtei Saint Peter's Monastery in Salzburg 582-1982, Salzburg 1982.
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