Switzerland’s oldest Benedictine monastery
Disentis Abbey, located just over two hours from Andermatt, was founded over 1,400 years ago. The original church, founded around the year 614 was the craftsmanship of Sigisbert, a Frankish hermit, and his companion Placidus. Steeped in history, the Abbey’s past has naturally been turbulent. Perhaps one of the most poignant moments being the murder of Placidus by the then ruler of Chur, who distrusted the pair.
Fast forward 1,000 of years and the Abbey is now known for its highly achieving students rather than its dramatic beginning. However, to this day monks, pupils and inhabitants of Disentis join to acknowledge Placidus’s passing on 11th July. Holding a commemorative church service annually the Sunday before.
2013 and Disentis Abbey is an integral part of one of Switzerland’s most highly ranked schools and home to 29 monks. The school, according to Abbot Vigeli, “is probably as old as the monastic Benedictine order” itself. In his opinion it is the traditions associated with its rich history that make it the ‘unique’ school it is today.
With around 160 students, several boarding and some even coming from other countries Disentis Secondary School is highly regarded. Known for its use of immersion teaching the school was recently listed as the best German-speaking boarding school in Switzerland. Ahead of its years in comparison to other schools Disentis Secondary School will soon add economics and law to its list of classes taught fully in English.
Keen to read more about Disentis Abbey and it’s rich history? Then make sure you check out the Andermatter.
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