Weltenburg Abbey is a Benedictine monastery founded by monks of the Hiberno-Scottish mission around 620 AD. It is held to be the oldest monastery in Bavaria. According to tradition, the abbey was founded in 617 by Agilus and Eustace of Luxeuil, both students of Columbanus. Reportedly during the first half of the 8th century, the abbey took on the rules of the Benedictine order and was supported by Tassilo III.

By 932 at the latest, the abbey was under control of the Bishop of Regensburg. Wolfgang of Regensburg had a residence built on the Frauenberg above today's abbey. The abbey church (replaced in 1716) was consecrated in 1191, a single nave building with a crypt. Under abbot Konrad V (1441-50), the church, abbey buildings were renovated and life in the abbey reformed.

It was not until the 18th century, that Weltenburg Abbey rose to prominence under abbot Maurus Bächl (1713-43). To his period date the current monastery courtyard with its Baroque buildings, the highlight of which is the abbey church, dedicated to Saint George, which was built by the Asam Brothers between 1716 and 1739.

Following a confiscation of the abbey's silver and a ban on accepting novices, the abbey was officially dissolved on 18 March 1803 during the secularization of Bavaria. The abbey brewery and other economy buildings found buyers, but the church and convent could not be sold. In 1812, they became the parish house, school, teacher house and parish church for Weltenburg village.

On the initiative of King Ludwig I, Weltenburg was re-founded as a priory of Metten Abbey on 25 August 1842. It renovated the convent and repurchased other properties, including the brewery. It has been a member of the Bavarian Congregation of the Benedictine Confederation since 1858 and was raised to the status of an independent abbey in 1913. The chapel underwent extensive restoration from 1999-2008.

Besides the traditional duties of hospitality, the abbey has pastoral responsibility for two parishes. It is also active in farming and in adult education. It hosts conferences and lectures as well as concerts. The abbey is open to the public, except for the part reserved for the monks.

Weltenburg Abbey brewery (Weltenburger Klosterbrauerei) is by some reckonings the oldest monastic brewery in the world, having been in operation since 1050, although the title is disputed by Weihenstephan Abbey. Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel was given the World Beer Cup award in 2004, 2008 and 2012 as the best Dunkel beer in the world. One wing of the abbey which faces the Danube river houses a large restaurant on the ground floor operated by a tenant. The traditional Bavarian menu includes the abbey's cheese and beer, and guests are also served in the monastery courtyard, which houses a large open-air biergarten during the warmer months.

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Details

Founded: 617 AD
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Part of The Frankish Empire (Germany)

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alex Dihenes Photography (55 days ago)
Situated on the banks of the Danube, this Benedictine monastery brings with it the history of religion and the history of the oldest brewery. You will be pleasantly impressed by the landscape, architecture, history, gastronomy. From a few meters you can take a boat that will take you on a short cruise on the Danube. In the courtyard of the monastery is the terrace of the restaurant where you can have a feast or cool off with a local beer. Outside the church there is a museum, an old brewery and if you walk along the tourist route you will be able to visit a Roman archeological site, a wonderful church on the hill and other beauties that you will discover for yourself. Enjoy!
Cường Hut (3 months ago)
Beautiful church, the wall and ceiling paintings are breathtaking. I was speechless. There was a lady introducing the architecture and history of the church in German (yeah, unfortunately) but all in all, it's worthy to visit
Andreas Bauer (3 months ago)
A wonderful monastery! Start in Kelheim via ship and it will be even more impressive, especially in October when the leaves are changing. There is a restaurant in the monastery which is pretty but very(!) Tourist focused - so don't expect too much. Better just have a drink (Weltenburg is the oldest monastery brewery in the world) and eat somewhere else.
Jayde Müller (11 months ago)
Really pretty, everything’s closed for corona but it was still cool to see. I’m sure in the summer it’s very nice. It was also very flooded during our visit. Otherwise very clean and well kept.
Tim S (12 months ago)
An operating Abby in a very beautiful setting. Still making the same brew for over a thousand years. Its a very nice dark full bodied beer minus the bitter. An outstanding beer. They make many brews.
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