Wessobrunn Abbey was founded in about 753 and dedicated to Saint Peter. According a legend Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria was hunting nearby and had a vision of three springs, which his servant Wezzo duly discovered the next day (the name means Wesso or Wezzo's spring(s)). The three springs are still to be seen, but there is otherwise no evidence of the truth of the story, and it is likely that the founders were a local noble family called Rott.

The first monks came from Niederaltaich Abbey under Ilsung, the first abbot. The church was dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul. During the rule of the second abbot, Adelmar (799–831), the monastery was transferred from the Diocese of Brixen to that of Augsburg. In 788 Wessobrunn became a Carolingian Empire Imperial abbey (independent of other terrorial lordships and answerable only to the monarchy) In about 900 it became a property of the Bishop of Augsburg.

In 955 the abbey was destroyed by the Hungarians, on which occasion Abbot Thiente and six of his monks suffered martyrdom, while the remaining three fled to Andechs with the sacred relics. The site was then occupied by canons until 1065, when the provost Adalbero restored the Rule of St. Benedict and governed as abbot until his death in 1110. In the first year of his abbacy the monastic church was rebuilt and was dedicated by Bishop Embrico of Augsburg.

Adalbero was succeeded by Sigihard (1110–28), during whose reign a separate church was built for the people of the surrounding area, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist in 1128. Under Blessed Waltho (1129–57) Wessobrunn enjoyed its first era of great spiritual and temporal prosperity. He was responsible for a number of unusually fine buildings. Also under Waltho the nunnery attached to the abbey between about 1100 and 1220 was of note as the home of Blessed Wulfhildis and Diemoth. In or around 1220 the church burnt down, and the monastery complex was extensively rebuilt at this time.

In 1401 the abbots of Wessobrunn were granted the right of pontifical insignia. A new era of great prosperity began with the accession of Ulrich Stocklin (1438–43), who had previously been a monk at Tegernsee Abbey and acquired considerable fame as a writer of sacred hymns.Abbot Heinrich Zach (1498–1508) installed a printing press at the monastery.

In 1680 Abbot Leonard Weiss (1671–96) began the rebuilding of the church and monastery on a far more lavish scale in the Baroque style, using the abbey's own stuccoists. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Bavarian Congregation in 1684 and joined his abbey to it.

The abbey was dissolved in 1803 in the course of the secularisation of Bavaria, when it came into the possession of a certain De Montot. From 1810 the site was extensively exploited for building materials to rebuild the nearby town of Weilheim, which had been damaged in a fire. What remained in 1861 was saved by Professor Johann Nepomuk Sepp, who bought the site and preserved it. In 1900 it was acquired by Baron von Cramer-Klett.

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Details

Founded: c. 753 AD
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Part of The Frankish Empire (Germany)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Andreas Warnecke (3 months ago)
Well worth seeing in the town hall is a small exhibition that is open on Saturday and Sunday. The source is lovely. Definitely take hiking shoes with you!
Hania Kojdet (4 months ago)
Nice quiet place both monastery and church are in one area. Right next to the brunnenhaus. The church inside is not too big, but very atmospheric. Beautiful paintings on the ceiling. The sculptures and the pulpit are also impressive. There is also a small entrance to the building where there are original parts from before 800 years. Free parking. No problem with the trolley, only stairs to the church are without a driveway.
Thomas Günter (4 months ago)
Ein wunderbarer Ort der Ruhe. Unbedingt das Fischhaus hinter der Kirche ansehen. Ein wahrer Insidertipp ist der Spaziergang zur Tassolinde, weiter in den Ort Wessobrunn und rechts wieder zum Kloster. Selten so einen idyllischen Weg gesehen
Quantum Snake (8 months ago)
A magical place. Ideal for recharging your batteries. I come because of the spring and nature, I haven't been to the monastery itself yet. Nice what the Benedictine nuns have made of this place, you can feel that the original of this place has been given a lot of space to continue to exist.
Clemens Coenen (10 months ago)
You can feel that these places have had a very positive impact on our western world.
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