St. Marienthal Abbey

Ostritz, Germany

St. Marienthal Abbey (Kloster St. Marienthal) is the oldest nunnery of the Cistercian Order in Germany to have maintained unbroken occupation of its house since its foundation. St. Marienthal is located to the south of Ostritz on the left bank of the Neisse, which at this point forms the German border with Poland.

The abbey was founded in 1234 by Kunigunde of Hohenstaufen, daughter of Philip of Swabia and wife of Wenceslas I of Bohemia, near a trade route that ran from Prague to Görlitz via Zittau. As early as 1235 the new foundation was incorporated into the Cistercian Order, with the abbot of Altzella acting as visitor. The first documented abbess of St. Marienthal Abbey was the noblewoman Adelheid I. von Dohna, daughter of Burgrave Otto von Dohna.

The abbey was destroyed during the Hussite Wars in 1427, and not rebuilt until 1452. It was damaged by fire in 1515, 1542 and (particularly seriously) in 1683. Rebuilding in the Baroque style began in 1685. The Baroque church interior suffered extensive damage in a flood of the Neisse in 1897.

During World War II the buildings were used as a military hospital. In 1945 the retreating German forces wanted to blow up the abbey to hinder the advance of the Russians, but the nuns refused to leave, and the building was spared.

The abbey survived the Communist East German régime and after 1989 spent large sums on restoration and developing the facilities. In August 2010 however another flood of the Neisse caused catastrophic damage.



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Founded: 1234
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Karolina Bialoblocka (2 years ago)
Quiet, cosy, of a beaten truck. Small, yet interesting biblical garden within the premises. There is also a a cafe, shop with local products (herbal teas, honey etc).
Rakia Younes (3 years ago)
Calm place ❤️
Elijah Cragg (3 years ago)
Comfortable accommodation in a nice location not to far from the town Ostritz. If also has plenty of space for conferences or the like.
Anna M (3 years ago)
Interesting place - off the beaten track. A must, if you are in the area
Josef Bajcura (5 years ago)
I spent only 50 minutes in this special place, completely hidden in the valley of the Nisa River. I think I am going back to this monastery. This place radiates gentleness and kindness. It belongs among such places (seemingly lost and common) that can change your view of what is essential and what is simply a wastefulness. Maybe here you will change your view of your entire past and future life.
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