The Cistercians at St. Marienthal Abbey are impressively active and creative, infectiously positive and incredibly persistent, and the abbey itself is an expansive building complex of historical and cultural importance. It is the oldest nunnery of the Cistercian Order, and has been active ever since its foundation in 1234.
This is down to the nuns themselves, because no matter whether they were going through the Reformation movement, secularisation, the dark era of Nazi rule and World War II or the subsequent GDR regime, the "militant sisters" fought for their ideals, their beliefs and their abbey. The Upper Lusatian site has always been Catholic – not even the Nazis could manage to drive the nuns out of the abbey. The flood in 2010, with traces of the resulting devastation still visible in the abbey to this day, also did nothing to demoralise the spiritual sisters.
15 nuns currently live in the abbey grounds, which consist of the church, priory, Chapel of the Cross and ancillary buildings, including a bakery, sawmill, a former mill and a brewery. Even though they are occupied with work during the day as an "expression of service to one another", the daily rhythm revolves around prayer times. In other respects, just like outside the abbey walls, work is a means of sustenance. The abbey's market, tavern, bakery, candle production facilities, and even the sewing room with its parament workshop, all play their part. A wide variety of courses and seminars on spirituality, reflection and individual spiritual direction transforms this place of living into a place of serenity and meditation for all. And helps you to take a fresh look at yourself.
Accommodation: rooms in the "Josefshaus" and "Propstei" guest houses
Nearest train station: Dresden
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