Saint Florian's influence has been felt for centuries, but nowhere
as strongly as at the monasteries that bear his name. The primary
one is located in upper Austria, near the town of Linz. The monastery
has existed since roughly the 8th century A. D., when Charlemagne
ruled the land. In 1071 it became an Augustinian monastery and
has been in constant use since then, making it one of the oldest
continuously-operating monasteries in the world.
Over the centuries the simple building has been expanded and
used for greater purposes. It is now both a priory, housing monks,
and a basilica, or a building set apart for the transaction of
important business. The beautiful Gothic architecture of the buildings
is situated on a hill over looking the village of Sankt Florian
The monastery now houses the Historic Fire Department Museum,
as well. Since St. Florian is the patron saint of firefighters
and chimney sweeps, many locations associated with the saint are
also associated with either fire of water.
Saint Florian's monastery is also world-renowned for its boys'
choir. Begun in 1071, today it has grown into a choir that successfully
competes in festival competitions, travels extensively, records
CDs and even appears on television. The choir's primary purpose,
though, is singing mass and providing music within the church
and specifically the Monastery of St. Florian.
Many churches have sprung up around the world named for St. Florian,
and of course the town guarded by the monastery is named after
the saint. One of the most famous places associated with the saint
is St. Florian's Church in Krakow, Poland. His relics are still
buried here, miraculously saved from the city-wide fire of 1528
that consumed almost everything around the church.
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