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Abbey of St. Michael in Bamberg (Kloster Michaelsberg): church, Otto's grave, beer museum, panoramic garden and cafe

The abbey is a Catholic monastery belonging to a monastic order.

St. Michael's Abbey (Michaelsberg Abbey, German name: Kloster Michaelsberg / Mikaelsberg) is a former Benedictine monastery in the German city of Bamberg.

It is also known as the Mikhailovsky Monastery.

Today, the walls of the former monastery are: a nursing home, the Church of St. Michael with the grave of Otto I, a cafe, and the Franconian Beer Museum is open in the former monastery brewery. There is also a garden near the monastery, and the terraces offer panoramic views of the city of Bamberg.

St. Michael's Abbey is located east of the Regnitz River, on one of the hills of Bamberg - Michelsberg Hill.

Due to its location on a hill, the monastery is clearly visible from many points of Bamberg.

The monastery was founded in 1015 by the first bishop of Bamberg, Eberhard, at the suggestion of Emperor Henry II.

The monastery experienced its first flourishing under Bishop Otto I of Bamberg in the 12th century. The bishop died in 1139, was canonized and buried in the monastery church. The monastery became a place of pilgrimage to the relics of St. Otto.

During the history of the monastery suffered from an earthquake (1117), after which the church of the monastery was rebuilt in Romanesque style. In 1435, during a conflict between the bishopric and the inhabitants, the monastery was looted by local residents. The monastery also suffered in the Peasant War of 1525 and in the Thirty Years' War. The Benedictine Abbey experienced a new flourishing in the 17th and 18th centuries. After the fire of 1610, the church was rebuilt in the Neo-Gothic style. In the 18th century, the Dinzengofer brothers gave the monastery a Baroque look.

During secularization, on November 30, 1802, Bavarian troops confiscated the monastery's property, and after that the remaining monks left the monastery. The monastery came into the possession of the city of Bamberg, which moved the old hospitals to the walls of the monastery. A nursing home still exists in the former monastery today.

Now the monastery complex is one of the main attractions of Bamberg and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "City of Bamberg".

The monastery Church of St. Michael a (Michaelskirche, Church of St. Michael) in Romanesque style with Baroque elements and an impressive staircase with sculptures acts as the main dominant of the former monastery complex.

The church is functioning.

In the church, the vaulted ceiling painted with natural motifs (a painted garden symbolizing paradise) attracts attention. The ceiling depicts about 580 species of plants, which include plants from distant countries, such as pineapple, cotton, pomegranate and tobacco, as well as plants growing locally (flowers, herbs). The paintings date back to the 17th century. Many plants were grown in herb gardens around the church.

Also in the church there are: stucco decorations, paintings, the main altar, a Rococo pulpit, a chapel of the Holy Sepulchre in neoclassical style, monuments to prince-bishops, a memorial to the fallen in the First World War and an organ.

View from the entrance to the main nave and altar

View from the main altar to the nave and organ



Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre

Behind the altar is the grave (crypt) of Bishop Otto of Bamberg of the early 15th century. There is a hole in the tomb large enough for a person to crawl through. They say that the one who climbs through this hole will get rid of back pain.

Near the entrance to St. Michael's Church there is a beautiful courtyard with a garden, the center of which is decorated with the Merkurbrunnen fountain, designed by Johann Nikolaus Resch.

The former monastery brewery, founded around 1122, today housesFranconian Brewing Museum (Fränkisches Brauereimuseum Bamberg).

The museum has more than 1,850 exhibits that convey the history and culture of brewing.

Museum workshops: brewhouse, malt house, cellar for fermentation and storage, ice cellar, slaughterhouse, filtration and filling of barrels and bottles.

Museum website: brauereimuseum.

There is also a cafe on the territory of the abbey.

On the territory (behind the buildings of the monastery and the church) you can go to the Baroque garden with terraces, which offer magnificent panoramic views of the city of Bamberg.

Vines are visible on the slopes of the monastery garden; - you can enjoy a real Bamberg silvaner.

The Benediktinerweg ("Benedictine Path") runs through the former gardens, along which you can walk along fountains and vineyards.

Panoramic view of St. Michael's Abbey in Bamberg

Schematic map of St. Michael's Abbey in Bamberg

Practical information

St. Michael's Abbey is located in the historical center of Bamberg, at Michelsberg, 10.

Coordinates of St. Michael's Abbey: 49°53'37.0"N 10°52'38.0"E (49.893611, 10.877222)

All accommodation facilities in Bamberg, including in the historical center of the city and more remotely from it, can be viewed and booked here

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