Benedictine monks, Cistercian nuns and Jesuits were once based here. It has been owned privately and by the state and has been used as a local government building: as time goes by, the changes have left their mark on Wöltingerode Monastery. Today, it serves as a monastery hotel and a haven for those undertaking the pilgrimage through the Harz region or visitors seeking time out.
Nobody knows where the monastery's treasure is hidden. All that remains are the monastery's foundations and the former monastery church, a Romanesque basilica with a Baroque interior, high altar, pulpit and ceiling frescos, fully intact to recount tales of former glory, but also downfall. Tales of its heyday in the 13th to 15th centuries, and of the unrest caused by the Reformation and the Thirty Years' War. The monastery burned to the ground in 1676. Although it was rebuilt, it took a long time to restore the peace. It was secularised and then used as a local government building and a women's school for many years, until it was renovated in 1976 and the gallery of the church was converted into a concert hall in 1979.
While the east wing of the former monastery church is used for worship services, concerts and other events are now held in the lower church in the west wing, which resembles an undercroft and was most probably used as a crypt. The monastery's distillery, brewery, bakery and garden are still reminiscent of times gone by, but the hotel has lost all hint of the austere lives led by the monks, nuns and Jesuits who once resided here. On the contrary: the 3-star superior hotel offers all the mod cons needed for an exclusive conference, romantic wedding or personal wellness retreat.
Accommodation: Wöltingerode Monastery Hotel, www.klosterhotel-woeltingerode.de
Nearest train station: Braunschweig
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