Weltenburg Abbey

Weltenburg, Germany

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


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Christine Nieuwenhuis (2 years ago)
Beautiful place to visit. Good foodprocessor, good beer, but also beautiful church to see. The trip with the boat from Kelheim is a must!
Ralf Steinstraesser (2 years ago)
Must see/do, if you are in the Region Kelheim/Regensburg: have a Beer and a pair of white sausages with Pretzel at the famous Monastery ??
MK Spindel (Spindel01) (2 years ago)
Last time I was here was 20years ago definitely alot more people come here now then back then. I don't recommend the big boat it's crowded and not nearly as nice as hiking through the forest trails you encounter very few ppl and the hike is beautiful as the forest is old and has little bits of history within to discover. There is a small boat called Zille that will take us across the river for alot less $$ this same boat will also take you half way down the river on the way back to access a different trail. Weltenburg itself is a beautiful monastery beer is great food is good to but it's def become a tourist place it's not as good as it used to be. Church is still very beautiful.
Tabi Dutra Sprague (2 years ago)
The boat trip to Weltenburg was fun. 40 min to get there and 20 min to return to Kelheim. Around 13 euros 2 way trip per person. Boats available every 1 hour. We went on Monday (May 23, 2022). I wish they accept credit cards in the boat. Only cash :(. Beer was delicious. The tour was fun ?
Alex Dihenes Photography (3 years 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!
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