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Deggendorf, Or Deckendorf

town church

DEGGENDORF, or DECKENDORF, the chief town of a district in Lower Bavaria, about 25 miles north-west t;f Passau, on the left bank of the Danube, which is there crossed by two iron bridges. It is situated at the lower end of the beautiful valley of the Perlbach, with the 'mountains of the Bavarian Forest rising behind ; and in itself it is. a well-built and attractive town. Besides the administrative ofTices it possesses an old council-house dating from 1566, a hospital, a lunatic asylum, an orphanage, a poor-house, and a large parish church rebuilt in 1756; but of greater interest than any of these is the Church of the Sacred Tomb, which for centuries attracted thousands of pilgrims to its Porta Cadi, Gnadenpforte, or Gate of Mercy, opened annually on St Michael's Eve, near the end of September, and closed again on the 4th of October. In 1837, on the celebration of the 500th anniversary of this solenthity, the number of pilgrims was reckoeed at nearly 100,000. Such importance as the town possesses is now rather commercial than religions, - it being the main depot for the timber-trade of the Bavarian Forest, a station for the Danube steamboat company, and the seat of several mills, breweries, potteries, and other industrial establishments. On the bank of the Danube, outside the town, are the remains of the castle of Findelstein ; and on the Geiersberg, in the immediate vicinity, stands the old pilg-rimage-church of 31 arice Dolores. About six miles to the north is the village of Metter', with the Benedictine monastery founded by Charlemagne in S01, restored as an abbey in 1840 by Louis I. of Bavaria, and well-known for its educational institutions. The first men-tion of Deggenclorf occurs in 868, and it appears as a town in 1212. Henry XIII. of the Landshut dynasty made it the seat of a custom-house ; and in 1331 it became the residence of Henry III. of Natternberg, so called from a castle in the neighly,urhood. In 1337 there took place in the town a dreadful massacre of the Jews, who were accused of having thrown the sacred host of the Church of the Sacred Tomb into a well ; and it is probably from about this date that the pilgrimage above mentioned came into vogue. The town was captured by the Swedish forces in 1633, and in the war of the Austrian successioa it was more than once laid in ashes. Population in 1871, 5452.

See Gruber and rithiller, Der Bayerische Wald, Ilatisbon, 1851 ; Alittermiiller, Die Mostien tend die Aden Deggcmlorl; Landslint, 1866 ; and Das Kloster Metten, Straubing, 1857.

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