"American Swiss Bavaria" Mount Angel by mtncorg

Mount Angel Travel Guide: 8 reviews and 9 photos

St Benedict was an Italian of the fifth century. H was repelled by the conduct of the Romans of his day and he retired to a cave in response. Benedict is seen as the founder of the monastic movement. His best known monastery which he founded is atop Monte Cassino. It was here that he wrote the Regula Magistri - Rule of the Master - which describes how a monastery should be organized and led. Of the many Benedictine monasteries, it was the Swiss community in Engleberg that sent out Father Odermatt to find a new location - Mount Angel = Engleberg - in 1881

Father Odermatt came out from Switzerland to establish a monastery upon what was known as Lone Butte. The hill and small townsite below - Fillmore - were renamed Mount Angel in honor of the Swiss Benedictine home. German Catholics had been settling in the area since 1867 with a railline being established to Portland in 1880. The area has maintained its Germanic heritage, even though its population is definitely edging towards a Hispanic flavor. A very popular Oktoberfest takes place in the third weekend of September - only one weekend unlike the three weeks of its Bavarian founder - and the festival is the most popular folk festival in the western US.

Mount Angel is a changing town. It was a very quiet town for a long time, but recently, it has been growing at a fast pace, as have other towns in the area. It will be interesting to see how growth affects the town as time goes by. The heart of the town remains centered on the hill to the east where the monastery and seminary are located atop the hill. The view out over the northern Willamette Valley is worth the journey to the hill's top. In addition, there is a monastery for Benedictine nuns on the south side of town that dates back as far as the men's monastery. Another German flavor to the area are the many hop fields - the Willamette Valley is the leading growing area of hops in the US - 4% of the world's production is centered here.

  • Intro Updated May 10, 2005
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Reviews (8)

Comments (1)

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Jun 2, 2005 at 1:43 PM

    Good move changing the name from the Flax Festival to Oktoberfest. The old Festival probably only attracted vegans in search of soy, flax and quinoa. Somehow the Oktoberfest crowd seems a bit more colorful...

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