Weingarten Abbey

The monastery of Weingarten is a former Benedictine abbey on the Martin Mountain in until 1865 " Altdorf " hot end, now named after the monastery town of Weingarten in southeastern Baden -Württemberg. Formerly the home of the Guelph monastery existed from 1056 until the abolition of Secularization in the year 1803. In 1922 the abbey was repopulated and belonged to the Beuronese Congregation. In autumn 2010 the abbey was canceled and the last monks left the monastery.

  • 2.1 basilica
  • 2.2 Convention
  • 2.3 Academy
  • 2.4 College of Education
  • 2.5 rectory


The first monastery

1056 founded Welf IV on the Martin Berg, a Benedictine monastery, which was colonized by monks from Altomuenster. The nuns from the monastery burned down in 1053 Altdorf populated in return the monastery Altomuenster.

1094 the Abbey of the wife of Welf IV was given to the Holy Blood relic. This relic is made of earth of Mount Calvary, which is soaked with the blood of Jesus. In the following years many people made foundations of the monastery in order to honor the relic, including land and entire villages with their inhabitants.

The name " vineyard " is occupied documented to 1123. The monks did, among others, with the illumination. Her most famous work is the Sacramentary of Abbot Berthold from the first quarter of the 13th century, which today is located in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York.

The monastery was grave and laying house monastery of Guelph. Twelve members of the older, Swabian Guelph Line, who died 990-1126, located in the Guelph tomb in today's Basilica buried, including Welf II, Welf III. , Welf IV, V and Welf Henry the Black.

1178 sold Welf VI. his inheritance north of the Alps to the Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa; thus reached the monastery in 1179 Hohenstaufen possession.

The monastery was in 1274 raised to the imperial abbey. The abbot of the monastery was in an Ordinary Reichsdeputationstag since 1555 one of the uncommitted representatives.

The monastery was by its vast land holdings of 306 km ² last with about 11,000 inhabitants, which ran from Allgäu to the middle of Lake Constance and many forests and wineries involved, one of the richest monasteries in southern Germany. As of 1715, the Romanesque monastery church from 1124 to 1182 was largely demolished; in its place was built in 1715-1724 by Franz Beer a large, richly decorated baroque monastery church, since 1956 the papal basilica honorary title (more precisely, Basilica minor) bears. You should stand in the middle of an ideally typical monastery. The ideal plan of the monastery was only partially translated into reality.

In the course of secularization, the monastery was dissolved in 1803 and initially owned by the House of Orange- Nassau, in 1806 then part of the Kingdom of Württemberg. The monastic buildings were used among other things as a factory, as an orphanage until 1921 and barracks.

Start-up 1922

1922 Weingarten was repopulated by Benedictine monks from the Abbey Beuron and founded by Beuron Abbey in Erdington ( now part of Birmingham, England). In 1936 like never before living in Weingarten 160 monks, so many. 1940, the monks were expelled by the Nazis; after the war, the Benedictines were able to return to Weingarten; 25 the retracted into the Wehrmacht monks had fallen. In the 1960s, lived again nearly 70 monks in the monastery.

In 1922 the monks began with the installation of a natural history and ethnographic collection, which was partially housed in the monastic buildings and in the exam. Until the 1980s, the collection has continued to expand and eventually included more than 20,000 pieces from the fields of mineralogy, paleontology, archeology, ethnology and zoology. After the dissolution of the monastery, the collection was placed in the care of the Museum Auberlehaus in Trossingen, where parts of the collection are always accessible, the vast majority is collated and available for interested laymen and scientists as well as special exhibitions.

In 1982, Luke Weichenrieder the office of abbot. 23 monks dropped out during his years in office from the monastery. Some had lived for ten to 20 years there.

In addition to the solemn praise of God among the functions of the Abbey, the chaplaincy in the monastery parish of St. Martin, the pilgrimage to the Precious Blood, the spiritual care of the monastery guesthouse and ecumenism with the Eastern Churches.

Weingarten has long been a monastery with two church traditions ( " rites " ): Part of the monks celebrated according to the Roman, another part according to the Byzantine Rite.

2004 saw Abbot Luke Weichenrieder probably due to internal disputes after 22 years from his office and left the monastery temporarily. In the following years the Monastery of the Beuronese Erzabt Theodor Hogg was conducted as abbot administrator, appointed in 2004, Father Martin Rieger became prior of the monastery in November. In November 2005, this surprisingly occurred due to " personal reasons " from his position as pastor of the Weingarten Basilica Parish of St. Martin and his office as Prior back. Also Rieger asked to be relieved of his monastic vows to take on a Catholic parish outside of the Benedictine order. For new prior, Father Pirmin Meyer was appointed. 2007 was elected Basil P. Sandner from the Abbey Khajuraho Prior to the so-called administrator, he had so that all rights and obligations of an abbot, but not the blessing.

End of September 2009 it was announced that the Benedictine monastery of Weingarten should be closed. In the monastery lived at that time only four monks, of which Father Anselm Günthör was the oldest, 98 years old. Attempts to gain new Benedictine failed. The Diocese of Rottenburg -Stuttgart came as the successor to the abbey vineyard in the lease with the State of Baden -Wuerttemberg. On October 16, 2010, the Benedictines left the monastery.

Use of the former monastery buildings

Monastery and church are a main attraction of the Upper Swabian Baroque Route. A wing of the abbey system ( cloister ) housed from 1922 to 2010, the newly populated Benedictine monastery vineyard. Other parts of the former monastery is used by the University of Education Weingarten and the Academy of the Diocese of Rottenburg- Stuttgart. The courtyards of the monastery are the scene of open-air performances of the Monastery Festival vineyard in summer. These were held in 2000 for the first time.

Abbey with the basilica

The entire complex on the Martin Mountain in Weingarten is owned by the State of Baden- Wuerttemberg.


→ Main article: St. Martin ( Weingarten )

The Basilica of St. Martin is 102 meters, the longest Baroque church in Germany, but also one of the strongest and most monumental space. It was modeled after St. Peter's Basilica in scale 1:2. The church should be only the glamorous prelude to the Weingartener construction activity. According to the ideas of the abbot and convent, which were reflected in the ideal plan of 1723, and the farm buildings should be replaced ( south of the church ).

Already in 1727, barely two and a half years after the consecration of the church, Abbot Hyller began with the construction of the building quadrangle north of the church ( Hofbau ). The architect was Joseph Schmuzer ( 1683-1752 ). First, the east wing was created. And as they did in 1728 start with the north wing, the Innsbruck government was to display the bailiff appeal, claiming that the new leave the monastery area and affects the via regia ( National Highway ).

On April 27, 1728 was a construction ban. As a result, they built in the south of the church continued and completed in 1732 the east wing ( Seminarbau today: Academy ).

The ongoing construction has plunged the monastery in debt. Leopold Mozart mentioned in a letter of 13 January 1786 to his daughter Nannerl in St. Gilgen, Abbot Anselm Rittler, and in its context, the indebtedness of many monasteries.

In addition to its architecture, the Weingarten Basilica is also famous for the Gabler organ, which was built in 1735-1750 by the organ builder Joseph Gabler from Ochsenhausen. It has 60 registers on 4 manuals and pedal, and 6666 pipes.

The organ building since the set into the west facade six windows were not to be covered (similar to later in Neresheim ), Gabler had to develop a highly complex construction and arrangement for the organ around the windows. The technical tackling this project is still regarded as orgelbauerische feat.


The convent with cloister and exam is a locked for the public sector, which until 2010 was reserved for the monastic life. After the closure of the Convention, from July 2010, the Diocese of Rottenburg -Stuttgart this part of the building as a tenant. In May 2011, the priestly community Sankt Martin had expressed an interest in taking over the former premises of the Convention.


The Academy of the Diocese of Rottenburg- Stuttgart is home to meeting rooms and guest houses.

Normal school

The University of Education Weingarten has placed its management in the monastery. Finally there are auditoriums in this wing.


Furthermore, part of the monastery complex the rectory of the Basilica community; this is led by a priest of the Diocese of Rottenburg -Stuttgart since 2007. For decades, was previously a monk of the abbey also the parish administrator of the parish.

Holy Blood relic

The Holy Blood relic is an occupied with 65 jewels golden double cross, with a glass tube as the core. The relic contains according to tradition, a drop of the blood of Jesus Christ mixed with soil, and is part of the Holy Blood relic of Mantua. It does not belong to the Benedictine Order and will remain after the convention closed in the basilica. The relic is included in the main altar in a safe. Visitors to the Basilica may occur at the Holy Blood Altar to within three meters distance, behind a glass window shows the lying on a red velvet pillow Holy Blood relic. It is annually on blood Friday worn (after Ascension Day ) in a procession of riders, the blood ride through town and corridors. In the Museum of monastic culture of the city Weingarten the rich history of the relic will be shown, as well as the many expressions of worship based on devotional images, Holy Blood pictures and various memorabilia.

By relic consecrated oil is known as Holy Blood and oil is sold locally.