Abbeys as inspirational places of culture and spirituality
No matter whether you're a man or woman, young or old, Christian or non-Christian: abbeys are havens of tranquillity that offer the perfect respite from everyday life. A warm welcome awaits anyone wishing to stay at an abbey to learn more about the day-to-day life of the community.
Weltenburg Abbey – where visitors return again and again
Weltenburg was founded by the Iro-Scottish monks Eustace and Agile in the Danube Gorge in around 671 and is thought to be the oldest abbey in Bavaria . The finest beer has been brewed here in accordance with Benedictine traditions since 1050. The abbey with its grandiose Asam church, famous abbey brewery and lovely beer garden has a monastic tradition dating back further than that of any other abbey in Bavaria.
Sharing community life according to the Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia: Varensell Benedictine Abbey
The sisters at the Abbey of Our Lady in Riedberg near Gütersloh run a book & art shop, a workshop for liturgical garments, a bakery for altar breads and a farm. Anyone is welcome to take part in prayers or services and to share convent life. The 'House of St. Benedict' offers courses, days of reflection and retreats.
Stühlingen Abbey – stay at an abbey in the southern Black Forest nature reserve
The history of the abbey began in 1680 when the Chapel of the Virgin Mary of Loreto was built to fulfil a vow. Nowadays, gardening and agriculture are the main activities at the monastery near the Swiss border, which is home to a mixed congregation of Capuchin monks and Franciscan nuns from Reute. Since 1983, the abbey has opened its doors to visitors and welcomes men and women of all denominations who would like to experience and contribute to abbey life themselves.
Ora et labora (pray and work) – 'au pair' stays at St. Walburg Abbey
The abbey, which looks back on a history of almost 1,000 years, is connected to the even older pilgrimage site at the tomb of St. Walburg. Women who are interested in staying as an 'au pair' and experiencing convent life according to the Rule of St. Benedict are most welcome at the abbey, where spirituality, song and prayer are at the very heart of life.
The Archabbey of St. Ottilia combines modern elements with traditional monastic life
Founded in 1884 by Andreas Amrhein, the abbey is one of the largest in Europe with over a hundred monks. It combines monastic life according to St. Benedict with missionary work and has much to offer its visitors. In addition to a wide selection of courses, where else might you find an abbey fire brigade, browse a library with 195,000 volumes or learn about monastic medicine in the abbey garden?
St. Marienstern Convent in Panschwitz-Kuckau – two pilgrimage routes on the doorstep
St. Marienstern Convent on the Klosterwasser river in Upper Lusatia is one of few convents that still serves the same purpose for which it was founded in 1248 by the Lords of Kamenz. It is a place of tranquillity. Rooms are available for visitors who would like to live as part of the community and there is a large garden. The convent also offers a variety of projects on the theme of healthy nutrition and fasting weeks for detox and purification.
Cistercian Convent of St. Mary in Helfta, once the 'crown of German convents'
The Cistercian priory on the outskirts of Eisleben, the birthplace of Martin Luther , was an important centre of western mysticism in Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries because of Gertrud of Helfta, Mechthild of Hackeborn and Mechthild of Magdeburg. Today, it is a popular stopping point on the Romanesque Route and, with its beautiful convent garden, an ideal place for people seeking tranquillity, spirituality and meaning in their lives.
A vibrant place of peace, prayer and work: Schweiklberg Benedictine Abbey
Located in a rural setting in Vilshofen on the Via Nova pilgrimage route, Schweiklberg Abbey is an ecological abbey that supports the Christian mission. As well as prayers, spiritual guidance and holy mass, work is also carried out in various workshops. In the company of the monks, visitors can gain an insight into the Order of Saint Benedict, get involved in work at the abbey or take part in various courses or spiritual exercises.
A place for reflection: Scheyern Benedictine Abbey of the Holy Cross
With its history dating back over 900 years, the Benedictine Abbey of the Holy Cross is one of the oldest cultural treasures in the hop-growing region of Hallertau and today a vibrant religious centre. Individual visitors or small groups are welcome to spend a few days at this beautiful and peaceful abbey with an abbey church and famous crucifix reliquary, a conference venue, plant nursery and brewery.
Ottobeuren Benedictine Abbey – a stronghold of faith between Memmingen and Kempten
Founded in 764 in the birthplace of Sebastian Kneipp , the abbey is one of the most magnificent in Europe. It is a place for cultivating knowledge and preserving our cultural heritage. It offers tranquillity and vibrant spirituality to soothe mind and soul, to help people find peace and to reflect on the important things in life. Stays at the abbey and other events and activities offer a welcome respite from everyday life.
Sharing in prayer, work and everyday life at Nütschau Abbey without becoming a monk
The northernmost Benedictine abbey in Germany, situated between Hamburg and Lübeck , is a place for reflection, learning and meeting people, open to those who want to get to know monastic life for themselves. A wide spectrum of spiritual activities offer a chance to distance yourself from everyday life and to see yourself in a new light. Overnight accommodation is offered to pilgrims on the Monk's Trail and St James' Way.
Niederaltaich Benedictine Abbey – two liturgies under one roof
The abbey was founded around 741 by Duke Odilo of Bavaria on the banks of the Danube between Regensburg and Passau . Today, monks of the Roman rite and the Byzantine rite live together at the abbey – it is the only one of this kind in Germany. The abbey offers stays for men, as well as other activities such as spiritual exercises, meditation and Byzantine courses. Days of contemplation and other courses are also open to women.
Münsterschwarzach Abbey in the Würzburg diocese is one of the most important Benedictine abbeys in Germany and looks back on a history spanning more than 1,000 years. Behind its walls is hidden a microcosm of creativity, contemplation and introspection. The abbey offers stays, a wide range of courses including spiritual exercises, meditation, life orientation and craftwork.
Relaxation, inner peace and a complete change of scene at Marienthal Abbey
This extensive abbey complex in Upper Lusatia has many features of cultural and historical interest and is the oldest Cistercian nunnery in Germany. The impressive abbey has celebrated monastic life since 1234 and visitors are welcome to experience this for themselves. There are opportunities for visitors to stay at the abbey and join in with prayer, work and everyday life, find peace and quiet, and take part in seminars and courses.
Drübeck Abbey – a fusion of religious architecture and garden design
This impressive synthesis of sacred Romanesque and contemporary architecture is in a league of its own. The former Benedictine convent was of great importance to the region in the Middle Ages and is one of the oldest religious houses in the Harz . Today it serves as a church conference venue, training centre and place of tranquillity, contemplation, dialogue and relaxation.
Mariawald Trappist Monastery in the Eifel – the only abbey for Trappist monks in Germany
The monastery is Germany's only abbey for the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. A restaurant, shop, distillery and book & art shop are open to the public. Guests are also invited to experience the abbey's tranquillity during a short stay, attend choral prayers, help out in the garden and find out how monks live. In keeping with monastic tradition, only male guests are permitted.
Maria Laach Benedictine Abbey, meditation in the heart of the Volcanic Eifel
Dating from the high Middle Ages, this abbey on Lake Laach was founded by Count Palatine Heinrich II von Laach in 1093. For centuries it was a religious and cultural focal point of the Middle Rhine . Besides the Romanesque abbey church, the complex boasts a hotel, museum, organic farm and shop, fishery, garden centre, wrought-iron workshop, sculpture workshop, bell foundry and an art publisher.
Frauenwörth Abbey on Frauenchiemsee island – the ideal place to get away from it all
Originally founded by Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria on Lake Chiemsee's Fraueninsel island, Frauenwörth is one of the oldest remaining and most visited convents north of the Alps. A place of pilgrimage, the convent has a pretty church and a remarkable history. Visitors can participate in a vast range of modern-day activities, including spiritual exercises, fasting, periods of silence, gardening and even management coaching.
Ettal Abbey, a Benedictine abbey against the panoramic backdrop of the Ammergau Alps
Situated in Graswang valley near Oberammergau , this baroque abbey was founded by Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian in 1330 as the result of a solemn promise. Even today, beer is brewed and spirits are distilled here according to a tradition dating back more than 400 years. However, the basilica is the centrepiece of the abbey. Short stays at the abbey for men, prayers, spiritual exercises and celebrations of the Eucharist are available by arrangement.
A once highly influential monastery: Benediktbeuern Abbey
This baroque abbey in Pfaffenwinkel was founded in 725 and dedicated in around 739 by St. Boniface , making it one of the oldest in Upper Bavaria. Here amid the glorious Alpine scenery of the Tölzer Land region, visitors can pray, meet in the modern conference centre, explore their creative side, admire artworks and much more. Besides guided tours and short stays in the abbey for young men, there is also a wide range of courses and leisure activities on offer.
Oasis of well-being in the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley: Arenberg Dominican Abbey
The abbey, whose creed is 'relax, encounter, heal', is situated in parkland above Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in the pilgrimage town of Arenberg near Koblenz . Visitors can enjoy holistic therapies for the mind, body and soul in the ultra-modern vitality centre, take relaxing strolls through the garden of scented plants and herbs, browse the well-stocked abbey shop and take part in a wide range of courses.
Andechs Benedictine Abbey on the 'Holy Mountain', a popular place of pilgrimage
The 'Holy Mountain' and Andechs Abbey, well known for its on-site brewery, are must-see sights in the Five Lakes region near Munich . Visitors to Andechs can expect refreshing beer, hearty fare and a lovely beer garden! But they should also take the time to explore the abbey designed by J. B. Zimmermann and the church, which remains an important place of pilgrimage today.