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Catholics did not have it easy either

The Bavarian Elector Maximilian I strove to revive Catholicism in the Upper Palatinate. Beside Capuchins and Franciscans the Paulans should do it. Before they pitched their tents in Amberg, they first settled in Neumarkt and Neunburg in 1927. Finally, in 1652/53, they reached what was to become the aerial site. Now it took still some years until 1971, before one recognized the order also formally as a monastery. Bureaucratic mills worked more slowly even then, and so they did not consecrate the newly erected baroque monastery building until around 1702, and the new monastery church in 1729. The fantastic stucco work on the Paulanerkirche in Amberg by Paul d’Agilo and Franz Christoph Muttone as well as the frescoes by Franz Anton Helt deserve special mention. Two more towers followed, but they did not survive the course of history.

Paulanerkirche in Amberg – chaplain for the military and dark beer

Exactly how the Pauline Fathers brought Catholic life back to life is not quite handed down. But the Order distinguished itself by its excellent pastoral care of the military. The transfer of the administration of the Mariahilf pilgrimage was under discussion, but was not approved. The monastery life also included a brewery. Lay brother Valentin Stephan Still, known today as Brother Barnabas, became famous here. However, the brewmaster only stayed in the Amberg monastery in 1773 before he was called away to the Neudeck monastery near Munich. His dark strong beer is sold there today by the Paulaner brewery as Salvator.

The year 1803 meant the end for the Paulan monastery and thus also for the Paulan church in Amberg. The secularization, i.e. the endeavour of the state to push back church institutions, had struck. The library of the monastery was auctioned off in the twinkling of an eye, the brewery first went to the Amberg brewmaster Wingershof and then became a communal brewery in 1856.

From the church to the district court

The Paulanerkirche in Amberg remained a garrison church until 1812. From then on the monastery served as a military hospital. Until a false ceiling was added to the church in 1850, the building was simply a salt store. The upper part was bequeathed to the Protestant congregation, which finally bought the entire church in 1862 for 12,000 gulden and used it as a parish church.

In 1925, the military hospital had to make way for the district court, which still resides in the buildings of the former monastery.