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

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Boris Reinhard (3 years ago)
Great view, good ice cream
Patrick Keifert (4 years ago)
Beautiful setting and exceptional staff for conferencing.
Lorenzo Pirisino (4 years ago)
Old convent turned in an hotel. Rooms are pretty basic, but view and quiet surrounding are all there! Very interesting hotel, maybe more for an organised tour, or a group meeting, but still a place unique.
TeeBin Ong (4 years ago)
Perfect place for short offsite team meeting - very different experience as it was a convent converted to conference service and hotel. Well equipped for the purpose and clean. Food is okayish.
Andrew Telesco (5 years ago)
Old Convent converted into a hotel and cafe. Cafe is small inside but offers outdoor seating above a garden with a nice open feel. Good selection of cakes and light eating but a little pricey. I find it nice place to stop for a coffee when bike riding or on a Sunday afternoon. Banquet rooms can be rented and they offer a old world charm. I have not stayed at the hotel.
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