Mittersill, a medieval castle in the Austrian province of Salzburg had a twofold significance in Anabaptist history. (1) It was here that the Hutterite brother Veit Grünberger was imprisoned while on a mission trip in 1569. The Chronicle says that he was brought to the "Schloss gen Mitterschl (Nidersol)," where he lay for five weeks before being moved to Salzburg (where he lay seven years before regaining his freedom). The dungeon where he was kept still exists; it is a foul, dark place far down without light or any provision whatsoever for human existence. A tiny opening near the ceiling served as the only connection with the outside world. (2) About 1900, Mittersill castle was modernized by a nobleman who happened to be also an outstanding book connoisseur. This nobleman (Baron Grundherr) in 1919 bought the entire collection of Hutterite codices of the library of the cathedral chapter of Bratislava in Slovakia, a total of 25 unique and invaluable handwritten books in excellent condition. The canons of Bratislava needed money and the Baron wanted to adorn his castle. Around 1928 the place changed hands, and the depression in the early 1930's forced the sale of the entire castle. The manuscript collection was bought by a secondhand book dealer in 1936, and was later sold by him to the City Archives and Library of Bratislava. In 1956 this library owned a total of 29 such codices, four of them of different derivation. A description of the Mittersill collection may be found in the printed Catalog of the Cathedral Library of Bratislava by N. Knauz, made in 1870.
Bender, Harold S. "Rediscovery of the Schloss Mittersill Hutterite Codices." Mennonite Quarterly Review 30 (January 1956): 77.
Friedmann, Robert. "Of Hutterite Books." Mennonite Life 7 (April 1952): 81 f. (illustrated).
Knauz, Nándor. A pozsonyi káptalannak kéziratai: Codices manuscripti Capituli Posoniensis. Opera Ferdinandi Knauz. Esztergomban: Horák, 1870. 324 pp.
Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Das Klein-Geschichtsbuch der Hutterischen Brüder. Philadelphia, PA: Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation, 1947: 483 f.
Cite This Article
Friedmann, Robert. "Mittersill (Salzburg, Austria)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 4 May 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Mittersill_(Salzburg,_Austria)&oldid=58980.
Friedmann, Robert. (1957). Mittersill (Salzburg, Austria). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 May 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Mittersill_(Salzburg,_Austria)&oldid=58980.
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