Proudly, the elderly gentleman indicates his pectoral cross. Meet Abbot Carolus Vogler, who was in charge of the monastery and its fortunes from 1751 to 1786.
A putto presents the gifts young Marie Antoinette had brought with her from Vienna in May 1770: a cross studded with precious stones, a ring, and a letter appointing Abbot Carolus Vogler as Imperial Royal Privy Councillor of the Austrian Landstände, the Estates of the Realm.
Carolus Vogler also carried out extensive building work. He had the Romanesque nave of the monastery church demolished, leaving only the foundations, and built the baroque nave that exists today. He improved the entrance to the church by adding the richly decorated portal on which the legendary founders are commemorated with larger-than-life statues. The tall tower had been built several decades earlier under one of his predecessors, Abbot Placidus Hinderer.
The Schuttern monstrance with its filigree design dates from around 1710. Carolus Vogler instructed a goldsmith to top it with his own heraldic animal, the pelican.
But most importantly, he had the large monastery gardens extended in the French style, and transformed the venerable monastery into a residence in the Baroque style. The fountains and other water features and a music pavilion were all installed by him.
In 1786, Abbot Vogler retired from office due to his age. His successor was Placidus the Third, real name Philippus Jakobus Bacheberle.
All depictions: © Historischer Verein Schuttern 603 e.V. / Gemeinde Friesenheim