Michaelsberg Abbey

Bamberg, Germany

After the creation of the Bishopric of Bamberg by Emperor Henry II, the first Bishop of Bamberg, Eberhard I, founded the Michaelsberg abbey in 1015 as the bishop's private monastery. Accordingly the abbot answered directly to the bishop of Bamberg, and to no-one else. The monks for the new establishment were drawn from Amorbach Abbey and Fulda Abbey.

The chronicler and author Frutolf of Michelsberg was prior here until his death in 1103. The abbey flourished under Bishop Otto (d. 1139), whose burial in the abbey church and subsequent canonisation in 1189, together with the papal protection granted to the abbey in 1251, was of enormous advantage in increasing the independence of the abbey from the bishops. The award to the abbots of the pontificalia had taken place some time before 1185. The abbey's financial status rested securely upon its great ownership of lands in 441 places in the bishopric.

In 1435 the abbey came into conflict with the townspeople of Bamberg and was plundered. It also suffered during the German Peasants' War of 1525, the Franconian Margrave War (Markgräflerkrieg) in the 1550s and from an occupation of several years' duration by the Swedish army during the Thirty Years' War. In the 17th and 18th centuries the abbey recovered, and enjoyed a new period of prosperity.

By the time of the secularisation of Bavaria of 1802 the abbey still owned substantial property in Bamberg itself as well as estates in no fewer than 141 places in the surrounding area. On 30 November 1802 Bavarian troops confiscated the abbey's assets. Valuable books were removed to the library of the Bavarian court, the predecessor of the present Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. The 24 monks then resident were obliged to leave the monastery. The abbey buildings passed into the possession of the city of Bamberg, who by popular request transferred into them the old almshouses from the city centre; these are still located there.

The first church on the site, dedicated to Saint Michael, was built in about 1015 and was destroyed by an earthquake, probably in 1117. The present building is basically a Romanesque church, consecrated in 1121. In 1610 it was badly damaged by a fire, as a result of which the nave (with its ceiling paintings of the Garden of Heaven, completed in 1617) and the westwork, with the two west towers, had to be more or less rebuilt from scratch. The still-extant organ-loft was also constructed very soon after the fire, in 1610, and is a significant work of the German Late Renaissance. From 1696 Leonhard Dientzenhofer, under the instructions of abbot Christoph Ernst, created a two-storey Baroque exterior façade. Johann Dientzenhofer built the terrace in 1723.

In 1833, on the orders of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, the gravestones and memorials of the bishops of Bamberg from the 16th to the 18th century were removed from Bamberg Cathedral and set up in the Michaelskirche.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1015
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Ottonian Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alex Escala (12 months ago)
You can see the splendid beauty of the monastery even it is undergoing renovations. Very serene and makes you feel nearer to a super being.
Tadej Baškovč (13 months ago)
Nice landmark. It's a shame that the view was obstructed by the work stage during our visit.
Dirk van der Lee (15 months ago)
Offers a nice view over Bamberg. Also hosts several pubs on the mountain with some tasty beer.
Animesh Kumar (2 years ago)
Highly recommended if you want to feel Bamberg from top. I have been here three times and this place never gets old or boring. I still feel the same adrenaline as I had felt during my first visit to this Monastery. The best view of Bamberg. It takes a good hike to come here but once you are on the top, you have a breathe taking view of Bamberg with the cathedral and residence shining in the background. Although the church has been closed for several years due to the restoration but it has a very beautiful, well maintained garden. It is refreshing to be up there. There are three cafe - restaurants on-site to refresh yourself one of which has a cool Biergarten with an amazing view. I would still recommend a coffee and cake.
AndyundSarah (3 years ago)
Good for a walk from Dom to monastery. Scenic walk down to city center available. I recommend to book a table at "Da Francesco". Great food in a beautiful location.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mingarry Castle Ruins

Mingarry Castle was considered a strategically important site in terms of communication with overseas areas and as an entranceway to the Sound of Mull. Originally built in the 13th century for the Clan MacDonald of Ardnamurchan, the castle has had many different occupants. King James IV of Scotland used it as a stronghold for fighting off Clan Donald in the late 15th century. In 1515 the castle was besieged by the Clan MacDonald of Lochalsh and again two years later when they finally took the castle.

In 1588 the chief of the Clan MacLean of Duart resided there after capturing the chief of the Clan MacIan of Ardnamurchan. In 1588, one of the ships of the Spanish Armada, named the San Juan de Sicilia, landed on Mull and MacLean of Duart used troops from the ship to aid him in his warring against the MacDonalds of Clanranald and the MacIans of Ardnamurchan.