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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 Benedictine Abbey
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.

Varensell Benedictine Abbey
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 Capuchin Abbey
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.

Archabbey of St. Ottilia
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 Cistercian Convent
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
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.

Abbey of the Missionary Benedictines in Schweiklberg
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.

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