Michaelsberg Abbey

Siegburg, Germany

Michaelsberg Abbey is situated on the Michaelsberg ('St. Michael's Mount'), about 40 metres above the town of Siegburg. The hill was first inhabited about 800 by the Counts of Auelgau, who built a castle there. In 1064 the Archbishop of Cologne, Anno II of Cologne, founded a monastery there, dedicated to the Archangel Michael, from whom both the mountain and the abbey henceforward took their names. He appointed the monk Erpho (died 1076) as the first abbot. Anno himself died at the abbey in 1075 and was buried there.

Archbishop Anno was canonized in the abbey church in 1183. At this time his remains were translated to the Chapel of St. Anno, which can still be seen in the abbey church. By this time, however, the early spirit of these founders was beginning to dim among the monks. The community had developed a luxurious lifestyle, one which was so open that they were publicly criticized by a nearby Cistercian abbey.

During the 14th century, after a long legal battle, the abbey was recognized as an Imperial abbey (that is, directly subject to the Holy Roman Emperor alone). This led to bitter rivalry, and on occasion even war, with the town of Siegburg. In 1676 the abbey again became subject to the local territorial power. During the period of the Thirty Years' War, the abbey became a center of literary and musical studies.

The abbey was suppressed during the German Mediatisation of 1802–03. Until their resettlement by Cistercian monks on 2 July 1914, the buildings were used for varied purposes, for some time as a barracks, but also at other times as a lunatic asylum and a slaughterhouse. The new monks came from the Abbey of Merkelbeeck in the Netherlands to establish a monastery there again. This was not an easy endeavor, as part of the abbey was soon taken over for use as a military hospital during World War I.

In 1941 the abbey was again dissolved, this time by the Schutzstaffel (SS); the monks were expelled and the buildings commandeered. The buildings were almost completely destroyed by a bombing raid in 1944, although they were in use as a military hospital and flying the flag of the Red Cross. In 1945 the monks who had been expelled four years previously were finally able to return, some from captivity as prisoners of war, others from exile. They had to rebuild the monastery virtually from scratch.

Benedictine life on the Michaelsberg the monastery was dissolved in 2011.



Your name


Founded: 1064
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Salian Dynasty (Germany)

More Information



4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michael Valtinat (14 months ago)
A very nice place for meetings and a very interesting hotel with a very good service, the food is also very good there. The view from the hotel room is very interesting (wide view)
P. G. (2 years ago)
Very great location for seminars. Beautifully situated. Breakfast buffet with a large selection. Also lunch and dinner very good. Beautiful terraces to linger. Had an attic room. When the window was open because of the heat, it was unfortunately noisy because of the freeway and air traffic. But all in all very recommendable.
Ursula Schäfer (2 years ago)
The Siegburg Michaelsberg, also called Michelsberg, is an elevation of 55 m above the city of Siegburg. The former Benedictine abbey stands on the top of the mountain, can be seen from afar across the valley and is a symbol of the city of Siegburg. From here you have a wonderful view!
A.M. G. (3 years ago)
Beautifully located monastery complex (former abbey) above the town of Siegburg. Unfortunately, it is currently being renovated and can therefore only be viewed from the outside. However, the slightly arduous ascent is rewarded with a great panorama... an extensive playground in the immediate vicinity also delights our little explorers. :-)
Uli Stahl (4 years ago)
During a long wait we had the opportunity to look at some of the rooms in the reception area, the outdoor terrace and the old part of the former abbey and take some photos. With the good weather, the view went northwest to the power plants west of Cologne and on the other side to the Siebengebirge. The staff at reception was exceptionally polite and helpful - unfortunately the dog was not allowed in.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

The Church of the Holy Cross

The church of the former Franciscan monastery was built probably between 1515 and 1520. It is located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Rauma. The church stands by the small stream of Raumanjoki (Rauma river).

The exact age of the Church of the Holy Cross is unknown, but it was built to serve as the monastery church of the Rauma Franciscan Friary. The monastery had been established in the early 15th century and a wooden church was built on this location around the year 1420.

The Church of the Holy Cross served the monastery until 1538, when it was abandoned for a hundred years as the Franciscan friary was disbanded in the Swedish Reformation. The church was re-established as a Lutheran church in 1640, when the nearby Church of the Holy Trinity was destroyed by fire.

The choir of the two-aisle grey granite church features medieval murals and frescoes. The white steeple of the church was built in 1816 and has served as a landmark for seafarers.