St. Emmeram's Abbey

Regensburg, Germany

St. Emmeram's Abbey, now known as Schloss Thurn und Taxis, was a Benedictine monastery founded in about 739 at the grave of the itinerant Frankish bishop Saint Emmeram.

Saint Wolfgang, who was made bishop in 972, ordered that a library be constructed at St. Emmeram shortly after his arrival in Regensburg. An active scriptorium had existed at St. Emmeram in the Carolingian period, but it is not known whether it occupied a special building, and it appears that relatively few manuscripts of poor quality were produced there during the early tenth century. Over time, some works in the scriptorium were copied by monks, some works were preserved from the Carolingian period, and others were acquired as gifts.

In 1295 the counter-king Adolf of Nassau and granted St. Emmeram's as Imperial abbey, an independent sovereign power subject directly to the emperor.

After a decline in its significance during the 16th century the abbey enjoyed a resurgence in the 17th and 18th centuries under abbots Frobenius Forster, Coelestin Steiglehner, Roman Zirngibl and Placidus Heinrich, great scholars, particularly in the natural sciences. Under their leadership the abbey academy came to rival the Münchner Akademie. St. Emmeram's had a long tradition of scientific enquiry dating from the Middle Ages, in witness of which the monastery preserved the astrolabe of William of Hirsau.

In 1731, the abbots were raised to the status of Princes of the Empire. Between 1731 and 1733 there followed the magnificent Baroque refurbishment, by the Asam brothers, of the abbey church, which had been repeatedly burnt out and repaired.

In 1803, St. Emmeram's, along with the Imperial City of Regensburg, the Bishopric of Regensburg and the two other Imperial Abbeys, lost its previous politically independent status to the newly formed Principality of Regensburg, often referred to as the Archbishopric of Regensburg, under the former Prince-Primate Carl Theodor von Dalberg. After the Treaty of Paris of 1810, the entire Principality of Regensburg was transferred to Bavaria. The treasures of St. Emmeram's and its valuable library were mostly removed to Munich.

In 1812 the monastic buildings were granted to the Princes of Thurn und Taxis, who had St. Emmeram's Abbey converted as a residence known from then on as Schloss Thurn und Taxis, sometimes called Schloss Sankt Emmeram.

The abbey church became a parish church before Pope Paul VI accorded the status of a basilica minor in 1964. The Romanesque basilica with three aisles, three choirs and a west transept is based on an original church building from the second half of the 8th century. Since that time it has been many times partly destroyed and rebuilt. The oldest extant part of the building is the ring crypt under the choir of the northern aisle. The three medieval carved stone reliefs on the north portal, dating from about 1052, the oldest of their type in Germany, represent Christ, Saint Emmeram and Saint Denis. The west transept has a painted wooden ceiling depicting Saint Benedict of Nursia. The crypt of Saint Wolfgang is beneath the choir of Saint Denis. Next to Saint Denis's altar in the northern aisle is the tomb of Emma, Queen of the East Franks (died 876), let into the wall. The high altar dates from 1669.

St. Rupert's church was formerly the parish church of the monastery. The church, with two aisles, was constructed in the second half of the 11th century, but was frequently adapted and enlarged. The nave is from the 14th century, the choir from 1405, the high altar with four pillars and a picture of the baptism of Duke Theodo of Bavaria by Saint Rupert from 1690 and the decoration and fittings from the 17th and 18th centuries. The tabernacle on the north side of the choir has figures of Saint Rupert and other saints. The altar of Saint Michael dated from 1713. The nave is decorated with pictures of the miracles of Saint Rupert.

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Details

Founded: 739 AD
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Part of The Frankish Empire (Germany)

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

8D (2 years ago)
Includes older, Romanesque parts.
BradJill (2 years ago)
One of the most interesting historic churches we visited recently in Regensburg is that St. Emmeram, a Basilica minor located at Emmeramsplatz next to the Thurn and Taxis Palace. The church history dates back to 780AD and is considered a National Shrine in Bavaria. There are quite a few interesting things to see at St. Emmeram. The church is a mixture of Romanesque and Baroque architecture. The main portion of the church nave dates back to the 8th-century but was given a High Baroque makeover by the regionally important Bavarian architects Asam Brothers in the early 18th-century. The high altar, pulpit, ceiling fresco and numerous decorations with gilding create a beautiful interior. There is a 11th-century crypt with important tombs in the back that is worth a quick visit. Given the church age, its worth reading up on its history before or during your visit. This will help create context to what you are seeing at St. Emmeram Basilica in Regensburg.
Will and Alex Travel (3 years ago)
One of my favorite things to show friends visiting Regensburg! Really beautiful interior with some cool altars.
Ron Gustaveson (Ron Gustaveson) (3 years ago)
You will need to walk around and check for open doors to find this place. Also know google tries to take you to the wrong door to access the Abby. It is absolutely beautiful and was also empty when my wife and I toured. Make the effort and open some doors and you might just find this.
suhaib جعّار (3 years ago)
It was the last abbey „Kloster” I have visited on my short stay in Regensburg. Although it being among the oldest, but the bright light inside and the amazing paintings gave it a very sweet and amazing presence. It should be on your agenda if you like to visit historical religious places. I have liked it a lot
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