Amorbach Abbey was one of four Carolingian foundations intended to establish Christianity in the region of the Odenwald. It is said to take its name from Amor, a disciple of Saint Pirmin, regarded as the founder. The abbey was consecrated in 734. By 800 it had become a Reichsabtei, the abbot being directly answerable to Charlemagne. Pepin united it to the Bishopric of Würzburg, although control of it was much disputed by the Bishops of Mainz.

The abbey played an important role in the clearing and settlement of the vast tracts of forest in which it was located, and in the evangelisation of other areas, notably Saxony: many of the abbots of the missionary centre of Verden an der Aller - later to become the Bishops of Verden - had previously been monks at Amorbach. It was severely damaged by the invasions of the Hungarians in the 10th century.

In 1525 the buildings were stormed and plundered during the German Peasants' War by forces under the command of Götz von Berlichingen. During the Thirty Years' War the abbey was attacked by the Swedes in 1632, was dissolved for a short time between 1632 and 1634 and the lands taken by a local landowner, and although it was afterwards restored and the lands regained, there followed a period of decline and poverty.

In 1656 the Bishops of Mainz and Würzburg reached agreement: Amorbach was transferred into the control, both spiritual and territorial, of the Archbishop of Mainz, and significant building works followed. In the 1740s the site was completely refurbished in the Rococo style, of which it remains a significant example, under the supervision of Maximilian von Welsch. Further extensive construction and decoration was undertaken in the 1780s, including in 1782 the installation of what was at the time the biggest organ in the world.

The patrons were the Virgin Mary, with Saints Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrix.

The abbey was finally dissolved in 1803 and given with its lands as compensation for lost territories to the Princes of Leiningen, who still live there today. Jurisdiction over the abbey and its territories passed to the government of the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1816.

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Address

Am Konvent, Amorbach, Germany
See all sites in Amorbach

Details

Founded: 734 AD
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Part of The Frankish Empire (Germany)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Regina Eifert (18 months ago)
Warm anziehen.da wird nicht geheizt.aber sehr interessant
Dieter Oechsle (19 months ago)
An diesem Tag leider kalt und nasses Wetter, muessen an einem Fruehlingstag wieder kommen
D S (2 years ago)
I was blown away by the beauty of this hidden gem tucked away in the tiny town of Amorbach. Of course, to Germans this abbey may be well-known, but we only stumbled upon it thanks to a recommendation from our train conductor. For only 3 euro, you can view this Baroque masterpiece, with its crowning jewel - the Stumm organ. Expect to spend at least 30 minutes to an hour craning your neck to see the magnificently-detailed frescoes and to walk away with your muscles strained but your heart full. If you are going to Miltenberg, you would be doing yourself a disservice to not stop by Amorbach and see this church.
Stefan Klinger (2 years ago)
ok
Justin Bunch (2 years ago)
Leaving the staid symmetry of the Baroque behind is the magnificent Rococo monastery church of Amorbach. With 22 frescoes from master Matthäus Günther telling the story of St. Benedict and others, and beautiful rococo stucco work, this church is among the most exquisite rococo churches in Germany. The church has numerous artifacts of interest to those familiar with decorative arts, such as the rococo altar gate and spectacular example of the Würzburg Rococo in the dual-stair pulpit. More unusual though are the intact monastic rooms, the library and green hall, which make the tour of the complex worth your time.
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