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Exterior of Alpirsbach Abbey

Northern Black Forest Monasteries Route – On the trail of the monks

The Monasteries Route invites visitors to take a 100 km journey through the monasteries between Alpirsbach and Maulbronn against the fairytale backdrop of the Northern Black Forest. Experience the centuries of history hidden behind these monasteries' venerable walls and feel the wonder of a by-gone age in the midst of modernity.

There are places that are so much more than a point on a map: places where the atmosphere is palpable and that are much more than a mere structure of bricks and stone. The Monasteries Route offers an insight into the world of important monasteries and is guaranteed to leave visitors speechless on more than just one occasion.

The Kinzig Valley abbey

For nine centuries the picturesque landscape of the Kinzig Valley has been dominated by the stately red sandstone abbey of Alpirsbach. The Benedictine's sense of the monumental and their preference for clean, orderly Romanesque forms is in abundant evidence at this former Benedictine abbey.

Monastery theatres and concerts in the cloisters

Visitors can enjoy monastery or cloister concerts or attend one of the monastery's interesting workshops. The St. Peter and St. Paul Benedictine Abbey in Hirsau contains arresting relics of monastic history and the former world of monks and abbots. Here you can stare in wonder at the ruins of the abbey, attend an abbey theatre production (Klosterspiele) or enjoy one of the celebrated concerts at the Aurelius Church (Aureliuskirche) with other music-lovers.

UNESCO monasteries

The extremely well-preserved, elegant old monastery at Maulbronn, built by Cistercian monks around 850 years ago (seemingly for eternity) in the secluded Salzachtal valley, is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Wherever they go, monks always leave their mark on local culture

Monks have lived, built, prayed and worked in this well-preserved medieval monastery for almost 400 years, and so the traditions of the Cistercian Order have left their indelible marks on the cultural life of the region. Throughout history, members of religious orders have made an important contribution to the development of European culture, and their monastic architecture is an inherent part of our cultural heritage.

Northern Black Forest Monasteries Route

Length: approximately 104 km

Theme: monasteries and churches

Alpirsbach: abbey, abbey brewery and museum, glass making workshop
Calw/Hirsau: St. Peter and Paul Abbey, abbey museum, Aurelius Church (Aureliuskirche), abbey theatre production
Freudenstadt: museums, golf, Germany's largest market square
Maulbronn: monastery school, Cistercian abbey/UNESCO World Heritage Site, Eilfingerberg vineyard
Pforzheim: clock manufacturing, Jewellery Museum