Library of the Benedictine Abbey of Marienberg
Marienberg is a foundation of the noble family of the Tarasp dating back to the 12th century. At the end of the 16th century it was nearly dissolved. Thanks to the Pope and the Tyrolean Government this was avoided, for religious and political reasons. The Abbot Matthias Lang from Weingarten [Germany] marked an important turning point and a new height at the beginning of the 17th century. The number of monks increased steadily and in 1724 the monastery founded a Grammar School in Meran, soon followed by a boys’ seminary.
The year 1807 marked a severe setback in the history of the monastery. The Bavarian Government dissolved the monastery, the monks were chased away, and the monastery, the church and the archive were looted. The Grammar School in Meran suffered the same fate. In 1816 Emperor Franz I had the monastery reopened, just like the Grammar School in Meran.
The latter became a very important centre of education in the 19th century. The Benedictine Pius Zingerle [Orientalist], Albert Jäger [Historian and Founder of the Austrian Institute for History Research in Vienna] and Beda Weber [Poet, Germanist and representative of Tyrol in the Parliament in Frankfurt] were three brilliant teachers of this Grammar School. The political situation in 1928 led to the closure of the school. The private school, form 1 – 5, opened in the monastery in 1946 in order to enable less well off students to attend a secondary school, was run until 1986.
For centuries the monastery has been the spiritual centre of the Upper Vinschgau Valley. Generations of students have passed through the monastery. It has always been recognised as the religious, cultural and economic centre of the area by a lot of people.
About the Library
The library is one of the largest in South-Tyrol with over 90,000 books. Among its special features are to be mentioned the collections of arabic, syriac and jewish texts.