Engelszell Abbey (German Stift Engelszell) is a Cistercian Trappist abbey, the only one in Austria, located near Engelhartszell, in the Upper Austria region.
Stift Engelszell History
The first abbey was founded by Bernardo di Prambach, bishop of Passau, in 1293 and joined to the Cistercian order in 1295. Suppressed by Joseph II in 1786, it was taken over by a monastic community from Oelenberg only in 1925 and elevated to the rank of abbey in 1931.
On 2 December 1939 the abbey was confiscated by the Gestapo and the monastic community, which had 73 monks, was evacuated. Four monks were interned in the Dachau concentration camp, while the rest were imprisoned elsewhere or forcedly enrolled in the Wehrmacht. At the end of the Second World War, in 1945, only a third of the previously resident monks were able to return to the abbey. However the place of the missing monks was taken by the German Trappists expelled from the abbey of Mariastern, of Banja Luka, in Bosnia, with their abbot Bonaventura Diamant.
The current abbey church was erected between 1754 and 1764, when it was consecrated by the Prince bishop of Passau, Leopold Ernst von Firmian. The religious building was conceived in rococo style and has a tower in the center of the facade, 76 meters high. The interior is decorated with works by the artists Johann Georg Üblhör, Joseph Deutschmann and Bartolomeo Altomonte.