A historically significant abbey in scenic surroundings

Hirsau Monastery

St. Aurelius and St. Benedict in a founder painting of the Church of St. Aurelius, circa 1480, at Hirsau Monastery. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Böhm
A PRECIOUS PRESERVED MEMORY

ST. AURELIUS

Little is known about the 5th-century Armenian bishop. Today, his remains reside in two places in Württemberg and have been enshrined as relics for centuries. Believers ask the saint for assistance with diseases of the head.

Nave of the monastery church of St. Aurelius at Hirsau Monastery. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

The monastery church is dedicated to St. Aurelius.

FROM MILAN TO HIRSAU

According to legend, Aurelius died in Milan around 475 and was interred there. 350 years later, Bishop Noting of Vercelli, an ancestor of the counts of Calw, transferred Aurelius' remains to Hirsau. A monastery was founded for their worship. When the monastery was re-founded in 1049, the relics, which were believed to have been lost, were rediscovered. In 1489, as part of a revived worship of Aurelius, his remains were transferred from the Church of St. Aurelius to the Church of St. Peter and Paul.

A RELIC'S ODYSSEY

Following the Reformation, the new ruler over the monastery, Duke Ulrich von Württemberg, gave Aurelius' remains to Count Wilhelm von Zimmern in 1555, who stored them in his Herrenzimmern Castle. From there, they were transferred to the palace chapel of the House of Hohenzollern-Hechingen. A family representative left the remains to Zwiefalten Monastery in 1690, a subsidiary monastery to Hirsau. A small part of the relic was transferred back to Hirsau on the occasion of the restoration of the Church of St. Aurelius in 1956.

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