Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Einsiedeln

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EINSIEDELN (īn'zē-deln), a town of Switzerland, in the canton of Schwyz, 27 miles S. E. of Zurich by rail. In Einsiedeln great numbers of prayer-books, sacred images, wax candles, rosaries, medallions, etc., are made. The town is, however, chiefly celebrated for its Benedictine abbey, to which some 200,000 pilgrims resort annually to worship at the shrine of a black image of the Virgin, Sept. 14 being the principal day in the year. The abbey itself was founded in the 10th Century, and after being repeatedly destroyed by fire, was rebuilt as a quadrangle in the Italian style in 1704-1719. It contains a valuable library with several incunabula and MSS., these last dating from the 8th to the 12th century; also a museum of natural science and natural history. Rudolph of Hapsburg elevated the abbot of Einsiedeln to the dignity of a prince of the empire in 1274. Near the town the Austrians under Jellachich were defeated by the French under Masséna on Aug. 14, 1799.