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Einsiedeln

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Einsiedeln is a municipality and district in the canton of Schwyz in Switzerland known for its monastery, the Benedictine Einsiedeln Abbey, established in the 10th century.HistoryEarly historyThere was no permanent settlement in the area prior to the early medieval period, but numerous artefacts left by prehistoric hunters, dated to the Mesolithic to Bronze Age were recovered.The original "hermitage" is associated with St. Meinrad, a Benedictine monk family of the Counts of Hohenzollern. According to legend, Meinrad lived on the slopes of Mt. Etzel from 835 until his death in 861.During the next eighty years Saint Meinrad's hermitage was never without one or more hermits emulating his example. One of the hermits, named Eberhard, previously Provost of Strasburg, erected a monastery and church there, of which he became first abbot. Work on the monastery is said to have begun in 934. Following a miraculous vision by Eberhard, the new church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. At the time of the foundation of the Abbey, the local hunters and small farmers of the forest, placed themselves under the authority of the noble-born Abbot. The surrounding population was known as Waldleute (forest people) because of the forests around the Abbey. The Abbey encouraged the Waldleute to settle in surrounding villages and begin farming. The settlement of EInsiedeln is first mentioned in 1073.
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