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Einsiedeln

Einsiedeln is a municipality and district in the canton of Schwyz in Switzerland known for its monastery, the Benedictine Einsiedeln Abbey. Einsiedeln is also the birthplace of Paracelsus, a Renaissance physician and alchemist who is credited with first naming zinc.HistoryPrehistoric EinsiedelnArchaeologists have discovered numerous artifacts from the stone age and the Bronze Age in the Einsiedeln area. However, it appears from these artifacts, some of which are about 12,000 years old, that the area was thickly wooded and only used by hunters. Until the Early Middle Ages there were no permanent settlements in the area.Saint MeinradSt. Meinrad, of the family of the Counts of Hohenzollern, a Benedictine monk from Reichenau Island in Lake Constance on the German/Swiss border came to the region in 835 seeking seclusion. He established his hermitage on the slopes of Mt. Etzel. When he arrived in the area, he had with him a wonder-working statue of the Virgin Mary which he had been given by the Abbess Hildegarde of Zurich. Near his hermitage, he established a small shrine to house the statue, which became a small pilgrimage site. According to legend he died in 861 at the hands of two robbers, Richard and Peter, who coveted the treasures offered at the shrine by pilgrims. The robbers were then followed by two ravens into town and drew attention to them with loud squawking. This is the reason, for the two ravens on the village flag.
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