Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 932 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DEGGENDORF, or DECKENDORF, a town of Germany, in the kingdom of Bavaria, 25 M. N.W. of Passau, on the left bank of the Danube, which is there crossed by two iron bridges. Pop. (1905) 7154. It is situated at the lower end of the beautiful valley of the Peribach, and in itself it is a well-built and attractive town. It possesses an old town hall dating from 1566, a hospital, a lunatic asylum, an orphanage, and a large parish church rebuilt in 1756; but the chief interest centres in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, built in 1337, which attracts thousands of pilgrims to its Porta Caeli or Gnadenpforte (Gate of Mercy) opened annually on Michaelmas eve and closed again on the 4th of October. In 1837, on the celebration of the 5ooth anniversary of this solemnity, the number of pilgrims was reckoned at nearly loo,000. Such importance as the town possesses is now rather commercial than religious, it being a depot for the timber trade of the Bavarian forest, a station for the Danube steamboat company, and the seat of several mills, breweries, potteries and other industrial establishments. On the bank of the Danube outside the town are the remains of the castle of Findelstein; and on the Geiersberg (1243 ft.), in the immediate vicinity, stands another old pilgrimage church. About 6 m. to the north is the village of Metten, with a Benedictine monastery founded by Charlemagne in 8or, restored as an abbey in 184o by Louis I. of Bavaria, and well known as an educational institution. The first mention of Deggendorf occurs in 868, and it appears as a town in 1212. Henry (d. 1290) of the Landshut branch of the ruling family of Bavaria made it the seat of a custom-house; and in 1331 it became the, residence of Henry III. of Natternberg (d. 1333), so called from a castle in the neighbourhood. In 1337 a wholesale massacre of the Jews, who were accused of having thrown the sacred host of the church of the Holy Sepulchre into a well, took place in the town; and it is probably from about this date that the pilgrimage above mentioned came into vogue. The town was captured by the Swedish forces in 1633, and in the war of the Austrian Succession it was more than once laid in ashes. See Gruber and Muller, Der bayerische Wald (Regensburg, 1851); Mittermuller, Die hell. Hostien and die Juden in Deggendorf (Land-shut, 1866) ; and Das Kloster Metten (Straubing, 1857). DE HAAS, MAURITZ FREDERICK HENDRICK (1832–1895), American marine painter, was born on the 12th of December 1832 in Rotterdam, Holland. He studied art in the Rotterdam Academy and at The Hague, under Bosboom and Louis Meyer, and in 1851–1852 in London, following the English water-colourists of the day. In 1857 he received an artist's commission in the Dutch navy, but in 1859, under the' patronage of August Belmont, who had recently been minister of the United States at The Hague, he resigned and removed to New York city. He became an associate of the National Academy in 1863 and an academician in 1867, and exhibited annually in the academy, and in 1866 he was one of the founders of the American Society of Painters in Water Colors. He died on the 23rd of November 1895. His " Farragut Passing the Forts at the Battle of New Orleans " and " The Rapids above Niagara," which were exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1878, were his best known but not his most typical works, for his favourite subjects were storm and wreck, wind and heavy surf, and less often moonlight on the coasts of Holland, of Jersey, of New England, and of Long Island, and on the English Channel. His brother, WILLIAM FREDERICK DE HAAS (1830-1880), who emigrated to New York in 1854, was also a marine painter.

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