Europe’s highest Benedictine abbey was the spiritual centre of upper Vinschgau for a very long time. Still today, the monastery has a lot to offer for its visitors, reconciling the past and the future in a wonderful way.
The Marienberg Abbey has been located on a hill at 1,350 m above Burgeis near Mals since more than 900 years. The Benedictine abbey sees itself as a place of silence and virtue, of labour and prayer as well as of history and future. The monastery also has a library, a abbey church, a museum, a guest house, a café and a shop.
Men from 16 years can learn more about monastic life for a few days and participate in the daily life of the monks (minimum stay 4 days). Any other guests are welcome in our simple and modern guest house. Here as well, you will experience the monastery’s power and tranquillity, far away from the hectic pace of everyday life. The seminar rooms can be booked for events, courses and meetings.
Museum & library
Since 2007, Marienberg Monastery has a museum. Here, visitors obtain an insight into monastic life (in the past and today) by films and various objects. Also, there are changing exhibitions with interesting collections of the abbey’s property and an interesting film about the frescoes in the crypt. You can combine your museum visit with various guided tours through the church, crypt and library.
Abbey church & crypt
The church of Marienberg Monastery dates back to the late 12th century. It has received its current Baroque appearance between 1643 and 1648. The worth-seeing abbey church is accessed via a Romanesque round-arch portal. The stucco works are made in the Renaissance style.
For a long time, the crypt of Marienberg was a place of burials for monks. As the tombs were removed in 1980, magnificent frescoes were revealed that are among the greatest testimonies of Romanesque art in the Alps.
The history of Marienberg Monastery
The monastery was built in the 12th century. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Benedictine abbey had its heyday, the community of monks was growing and a humanistic secondary school was founded in Meran.
In 1807, the abbey was dissolved by the Bavarian government, the monks were expelled and the monastery, the church, the archive and the library were deprived of precious cultural items. Also, the secondary school was closed until 1816.
In 1928, the secondary school in Meran was finally closed under the political pressure of fascism. Between 1946 and 1886, there was a private secondary school inside the monastery.
Marienberg was the spiritual centre of upper Vinschgau for many centuries and had educated generations of students. Many former monastery students still keep in touch with the monastery and are engaged in the “Friends of Marienberg”.
Library – old treasures & modern technique
Today, the library is housed in a modern, subterranean building. The more than 100,000 printed works – partially historical rarities and rare collections – have been completely inventoried. The complete catalogue is accessible to everyone in digital form. If you register in time, you can participate in the guided tour too.
Unfortunately, we know little about the library until the 18th century. From 1816, many new monks came to the monastery. Some of them were well-known scholars who have brought their books and added them to the library’s collection.
Opening hours & further information:
Benedictine Abbey Marienberg
Tel.: +39 0473 843980