The Sacred Heart Convent is located in the southeast part of the old town of Hall in Tirol, at Stiftplatz.
Originally here stood the impressive castle Sparberegg, that was used as royal mint tower in the years 1477-1567. After the minting has been mover to castle Hasegg for security reasons, The countess Magdalena ordered to Giovanni Lucchese the construction of a noble monastery .
Parts of the standing castle were incorporated in the construction of the convent that took part 1567–69. Magdalena along with her sisters and other noble women moved into the newly founded convent.
In 1783 the Emperor had the convent dissolved and a major part of the splendid art collection was destroyed. It was used as accommodation until 1845 when it was turned into the city hospital.
The former home for noble women was reopened in 1912 , when the nuns of the sacred heart of Jesus moved in and has been used as convent ever since.
On the 30 Seprember 2012 , the Convent opened exclusively its doors to visitors in celebration of its 100 Jubileum . I used this chance , of course to take a look inside a place I wanted to visit for a while and which is otherwise closed for public.
In the convent there is a very interesting relic – it”s known under the name of “the swiss Christ-child” . The legend says : ” In the convent of Hall , a revered Christ-child from Engadin, from a mother of god divided, in the stream of the Inn river thrown, swam to Hall, fished out and brought to the cloister nuns.”
In the middle ages the saline City Hall was also where boats started sailing on the Inn river. A drawn over the Inn captured the necessary driftwood for the fire for salt production . Laborers had to take the wood out of the water . One day, they discovered a naked child carved from linden wood with crossed legs and sitting on a hand that was obviously cut off an arm. Stirred, the rough lads considered their finding, which reminded them of the Swiss religious wars and they decided to bring the Infant Jesus to the nuns in the convent who were known as ornament embroiderers, so they dress it. The dear Swiss Christ-child not only became some richly embroidered dresses with a dainty hat , but also a carved stool, with which it was put in a decorated glass box and placed at certain times in the collegiate church. He soon attracted all hearts, and prayers were directed at him.
A father neglected his wife and children, and drank and gambled his earnings, cursing and blaspheming, because he always lost. His family went to the Infant Jesus in the collegiate church and prayed for the conversion of the father. One evening the father was at home when they returned. However, he scolded and reviled as usual, even more, because the King of Hearts card was lost and he could not therefore play. To escape the scolding father, mother and children returned back to the collegiate church and what did they see? – The Infant Jesus held the king of hearts in his hand! The children ran home to tell this to the father. Disbelief and reluctantly, but he went in the church – and he realized what he has done.He swore off gambling addiction and was a good family man.
Seven seven chairs for the seven nuns in the chapel of the monastery. And a picture of the pope.
There was a very nice display with photos , showing the everyday live of the seven nuns in the convent . You can see some of them aswell as more photos from the 100th anniversary here.
Close to the private home can be seen the fountain house , that was also part of the convent . It was renovated in 1986. It is now outside of its walls , in a small garden, next to a children playground and a chapel. I can imagine they formed the “fun” part of the monastery retreat.
That’s it. I hope you enjoyed the monastery tour 🙂