Kappel Abbey is first mentioned in 1185. The abbey was founded by the Freiherr of Eschenbach. The name was derived from a chapel in which, according to a foundation legend, hermits used to live. Between the 13th to 15th Centuries the Abbey received several Imperial and Royal privileges.

On the site of the original church (of which parts are preserved in the present structure), a new church was started in about 1255. This early gothic building wouldn't be completed until the early 14th century. The oldest part of the monastery is the so-called core of the administration buildings, which were probably built in 1209/10 as a hospital (later the residence of the abbot and the prior).

The spiritual and economic golden-age lasted until the middle of the 14th century. Through donations from the landed gentry, purchase and exchange the Abbey had numerous, widely scattered properties. With the help of a number of lay brothers, the Abbey ran a number of businesses. These included a vineyard on Lake Zurich and granges in Wollishofen and Zug. In the 15th Century the Abbey lost the use of most of these distant businesses, they were limited to products produced at the Abbey and a local dairy.

Due of the involvement of Walters IV von Eschenbach, all the Eschenbach possessions were confiscated by the Habsburgs in 1309. In 1339 they were all placed under the authority of the Lords of Hallwyl. Increasingly, it fell under Zurich's authority, and after 1473 the monastic economy was under the direct supervision of the Zurich City Council. In the Old Zurich War, the Swiss Confederation plundered the monastery, whose monks had fled to Zurich. In 1493, a fire damaged the convent building. In the early 16th century the Reformation was gradually introduced. In 1527 the monastery was abolished, and its property was taken over by the city of Zurich.

Following the Reformation the monastery became property of the Canton of Zurich. As of 1834 the buildings were used for social purposes. Since 1983, the cantonal Reformed church as a spiritual retreat. Today it houses a hotel.

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Founded: c. 1185
Category: Religious sites in Switzerland

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Franco Silvestri (3 months ago)
Comfortable place located in a strategic position. Reception and personnel are very friendly.
Jürg Meister (3 months ago)
Kloster Kappel is definitely worthwhile a visit, the monastery itself is an interesting place to explore, while the restaurant offers some of the best cakes around. Furthermore the monastery is nestled in a most beautiful landscape, ideal for easy walks.
Pedro Bilar (6 months ago)
Beautiful view. Nice coffee house with a great terrace. Apparently opening April 30th.
Peter Dyakov (2 years ago)
Very inspirational place for work 15min drive from Zug - great place for a quick offsite
Cristina Madrid (2 years ago)
Fantastic place for a calm weekend away.
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