1799: French troops occupy the convent; the Host of the Holy Blood is lost

Troops occupy the convent

During the War of the Second Coalition, in which France fought against Russia and Austria, the Val Müstair became a theatre of war. The nuns fled to Algund and Merano in neighbouring South Tyrol. For around one hundred days the nuns stayed away, which meant that the convent was at the mercy of the warring parties.

When the nuns returned they found the convent abandoned, as if it hadn’t been lived in for the last 20 years. The servants’ quarters had been used to stable horses; the kitchen as a slaughterhouse, the prince-bishop’s room as a cobbler’s workroom and the cloister looked like a kitchen. The convent had been converted into a military headquarters. In the church itself, the organ had been vandalised, the benches burned and the altar was damaged. The roofs had also suffered. Many things had disappeared, amongst which the ostensorium with the relic of the Host of the Holy Blood.