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Wiblingen monastery

A rococo treasure

PMmedia Adv.

This is one of the masterpieces of Ulm, Albert Einstein’s hometown. The Wiblingen Monastery in Germany is a former Benedictine abbey and a beautiful baroque construction. And the beauty of the building can be seen not only on its exterior. Indeed, it is its interior that stands out, housing one of the most majestic libraries in the world, a work of rococo art, with characteristic ornaments and a large and colourful fresco on the ceiling, which makes the Bibliothekssaal the great highlight of the monastery.
The story goes that in 1093 Counts Hartmann and Otto von Kirchberg gifted the monks of San Blas Abbey land in the Black Forest near the Iller River, which the clerics used to establish a affiliate institution. In 1099 the first buildings were consecrated. The first abbot was Werner von Ellerbach. In the same year, the founding counts gifted the abbey a slither of the True Cross they had acquired during their participation in the First Crusade. And it is known that by the late Middle Ages, Wiblingen Abbey was already famous for its scholarship and education, as well as being an example of monastic discipline due to its adherence to the rule of St. Benedict.


During the Thirty Years War, the abbey suffered repeatedly from the conflict. On the initiative of Abbot Johannes Schlegel, the True Cross relic was hidden in order to protect it from looting by Swedish protestant troops. However, after the enemy’s retreat, the relic could not be recovered, as all those who knew of its hiding place had succumbed to the bubonic plague. Only years later was the relic rediscovered, embedded behind a wall. The abbey’s status as an independent territory within former Austria seems to have led to the monastery’s renovation in the 18th century. The spaces of the medieval abbey were successively extended and altered, with the original church built in the Romanesque style. Today, the buildings house several departments of the medical faculty of the University of Ulm. The former abbey is located south of the confluence of the Danube and Iller rivers in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The monastery is also part of the Baroque Route of Upper Swabia.
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