Abbey of Ettal

With its imposing baroque basilica and the rococo vestry the Abbey of Ettal has been world-renowned.


The History of the Monastery

Emperor Ludwig of Bavaria fulfilled his vow made in exchange for his safe return to Bavaria and founded the Benedictine Abbey Ettal in 1330. Associated with the religious vow were more practical motives such as security of local roadways, development of the area and creation of a foundation for knights and their wives.

The church was completed after forty years of construction in 1370. In 1710 the abbey functioned as a school for knights and was one of the most notable schools of higher learning of its time.

In 1744, following a serious fire and the destruction of both church and abbey, the abbey site is completely redesigned by Enrico Zucalli (architect at court) and Josef Schmutzer from Wessobrunn in the form still evident today. The central building with a 12-sided floor plan is impressive due to its outstanding stucco decoration by Johann Baptist Zimmermann and Johann Georg Üblherr as well as the ceiling fresco depicting the Benedictine heaven with the saints beneath the Holy Trinity as its central theme.

The rococo vestry, stuccoed in 1725 by J. Zimmermann and painted in 1747 by J. J. Zeiller is to this day considered to be on of the most beautiful rococo vestries of southern Germany


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