Schönrain Priory Ruins

Lohr am Main, Germany

Schönrain Priory was a house of the Benedictine Order located near Lohr in the Spessart. There is a legend that it was originally founded in the Carolingian period, in about 750, by Saint Lioba, and some have argued that a few traces of architecture from that period survive. However, firm information on this place is available only from the 11th century, when the monastery, with some property to endow it, was given by Counts Ludwig and Beringer of Sangerhausen to Hirsau Abbey, against the background of the Investiture Controversy and the Hirsau Reforms. It was duly re-founded as a priory of Hirsau.

The Vögte (or lay stewards) were the Counts of Rieneck, kin of the founders, who persistently over the next centuries tried to acquire the property for themselves. Eventually, after severe damages sustained during the German Peasants' War, the then Abbot of Hirsau dissolved the monastery at Schönrain and sold the premises to the Rieneck family, who re-built it as a residence.

The site, after a number of descents, passed to the Prince-Bishops of Würzburg, who used it as accommodation for their forestry officials. It was secularised in 1802 and continued in use by the forestry officials of the Kingdom of Bavaria. When their headquarters was moved elsewhere, the buildings at Schönrain were stripped for building materials, and the site has been in ruins since that time.

Since 1973 the site and the ruins have been under the protection of a local environmental and historical preservation group, the Lohrer Heimatfreunde.


Your name

Website (optional)


Founded: 8th century AD
Category: Ruins in Germany
Historical period: Part of The Frankish Empire (Germany)

More Information


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Miss_Diamond (20 months ago)
Das schönste ist der traumhafte Ausblick. Man kann die Burg auch mit Kindern besichtigen. Ein kleiner Marsch zum Bergspitze ist gemütlich zu schaffen. Die Abenteuerlust ist unbändig und es gibt dementsprechend viel zu entdecken.
Ada Tulodziecka (2 years ago)
Sehr schön ! Die Ruine ist mitten im Wald Man muss ca. 1.8 km hin wandern Am Waldrand stehen pkw Parkplätze zur Verfügung
Analysis Factory (2 years ago)
Nice ....... beauty
Majd Zanboua (3 years ago)
like like
Thomas Borkowski (4 years ago)
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.