Schussenried Abbey was a Premonstratensian monastery founded by the local landowners, Berengar and Konrad of Schussenried in 1183. It was settled from the Premonstratensian Rot an der Rot Abbey. Pope Innocent III granted it his protection and guaranteed its immunity by a privilege of 13 February 1211. It acquired substantial endowments and built up a considerable territory, and was declared an imperial abbey (i.e., territorially independent) in 1440.

The abbey suffered tremendous damage and losses however in the Thirty Years' War: many of the monastic buildings were burnt down by the Swedes and the lands were largely laid waste. Sufficient recovery had at length been made by the 18th century for comprehensive re-building to be undertaken, and the present name Neues Kloster ('new monastery') refers to the Baroque re-construction from 1752. The planning was the responsibility of Dominikus Zimmermann. The original plan of four wings with an integrated church was not completely carried out for financial reasons: the present three-winged construction consists of the north wing plus stumps of the intended east and west wings, and represents about a third of the projected building complex.

After the German Mediatisation of 1803 the abbey and its territory was given, in compensation for their losses to the west of the Rhine, to the Counts of Sternberg-Manderscheid, who used the abbey as their castle. In 1806 the territory was mediatised to the Kingdom of Württemberg, to whom the counts' heirs sold the buildings in 1835.

The State of Württemberg set up a foundry on part of the land, and in 1875 a nursing home was set up in the buildings. Until 1997 this was the State Psychiatric Hospital of Bad Schussenried, later known as the Centre for Psychiatry. Since 1998 the 'Neue Kloster' has been used as an exhibition and event centre.

The Baroque library is the most spectacular part of the monastic buildings and one of the main sights of the Oberschwäbische Barockstraße. The room is extremely light. The locked bookcases are arranged in two storeys. The ornamentation is among the richest of the 18th century in the German-speaking world. The ceiling fresco completed by Franz Georg Hermann in 1757 shows in bewildering detail the workings of divine wisdom in apocalypse, scholarship, education and craft.

To the most recent sculptures created for the room belong the eight groups of False Church Teachers, opposite which stand eight large figures of True Church Teachers. They are by Fidelis Sporer and were finished in 1766.

The abbey church is now the parish church, dedicated to Saint Magnus. It contains elements of Romanesque Gothic and Baroque architecture. Among the most noteworthy features are the choir stalls by Georg Anton Macheln and the ceiling frescoes by Johannes Zick showing the life of Norbert of Xanten, founder of the Premonstratensians.



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Founded: 1183
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Y B (19 months ago)
Faszination Lego war echt Klasse
Andrea Fürst (19 months ago)
Die Ausstellung Faszination Lego und auch die Krippenausstellung sind sehr interessant. Tolles Ambiente
Marlene Kisel (20 months ago)
3 tolle Ausstellungen und ein schöner Bibliothekssaal
andre jesus (2 years ago)
Five stars
Veit Veit (2 years ago)
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Hagios Demetrios

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The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

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Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.