14. The abbey - spiritual and economic center
Traunkirchen Abbey through the ages
Church and monastery complex
The original monastery church may have been a Romanesque building dedicated to Our Lady. The chapel of St. Michael on the south side, named after the patron of the death date of the founder Wilhalm, identical to the chapel of St. Michael in the Göß Abbey, which was built in 1010, is used today as a chapel of the dead. A chapel of St. Stephen, located in or at the north side of the church, the alleged burial place of St. Abbess Gertrud and an Anna chapel have not yet been identified. Abbess Ata and Abbess Wilbirg are said to have been buried in front of the chapel of St. Stephen (C. Bruschius). In fact, skeletons from the time of the nuns were found during the renovation of the parish's present youth room. In the parish common room there is still a well-preserved gothic arched ceiling with frescoes. The rest of the monastery buildings may have been build at the same places of the existing successor buildings.
Life in the monastery
The noble canonesses and nuns prayed the choir prayer in Latin. They were able to read and write, run a school for noble girls and devoted themselves to the fine arts. Cooking, cleaning and washing were done by lay sisters who had been brought with from home and were not members of the convent. The abbess, a female prelate, presided over the monastery. A female dean headed the convent, which initially consisted of more than twenty nuns. She kept its seal, depicting a Madonna and Child, and represented the convent to the outside world. A female chaplain was responsible for liturgical matters. There was no strict enclosure in the Middle Ages. Relationships with neighboring nunneries were cultivated through “prayer sisterships”, mutual entries in the books of the dead and assistance.
The Abbot Andreas (1452 - 1458) from Admont told Abbess Barbara I Stadlerin (1429 - 1462): “He could not include Mrs. Seytringer and the "Thalhammerin" in the nunnery of Admont because they were old and unsuitable for choir." (Handwritten concept of a letter from the inventory of the former Benedictine convent, Archive Stift Admont)
The supply of the monastery residents was secured by private property and property of land of the canonesses. The monastery and the nuns covered their living and monastery maintenance costs by selling the produced products, with income from their estates, their fiefs and parish offices.
Under protection and shield
Reeves - Lords of the souvereign
There were often differences about property and benefices that had to be resolved by the court. Men believed that women need "protection and support", they should be advocated. Reeves, initially from the family of the founders, later inherited or enfeoffed by the sovereign or archbishop, should ensure this. The transfer of bailiwick rights did not always find approval. Abbess Diemund (1174 - 1191) caused the deposition of “underreeve” Arnold v. Wartburg by Duke Otakar IV, as well as the liberation of the monastery from the bailiwick. Privileges were confirmed at regular intervals by the sovereigns, to whom the monastery was directly subordinate. Only Emperor Barbarossa (1425 - 1464) reinstated a ministerial to the bailiwick of the Traunkirchen monastery with Colonel Marshal of Steier, the governor of the state above the Enns (Upper Austria) in 1451 (see documents above).
© E. Rumpf, R. Hofbauer; Translation: XiBIT Infoguide GmbH