The Steingaden Abbey, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, was founded in 1147. In 1176 the Romanesque monastery church was consecrated. From 1470 to 1491 the abbey under Abbot Caspar Suiter was redesigned in the late Gothic style. In 1525 there was arson and pillage in the peasant war. The destruction in the Thirty Years’ War was followed by the reconstruction under Abbot Augustin Bonenmayr in the style of the beginning of the Baroque until 1663. From 1740 to 1750 the nave was decorated in Rococo style.
Another important cultural and historical legacy connected with the Steingaden Monastery is the nearby Wieskirche. It was built under Abbot Marinus Mayer from 1745 and quickly developed into one of the most important pilgrimage churches in Bavaria. However, the inaccessible location of this church and the complex architectural style brought the abbey into great financial difficulties. Abbot Augustin Bauer finally saw no other way but to apply to Elector Karl Theodor for the abolition of the abbey in 1783, which the latter refused. When Augustin died a year later, Karl Theodor prohibited the election of a new abbot. Gilbert Michl was appointed administrator of the monastery in 1784. In the years that followed, Michl was able to significantly reduce the foundation’s debt burden, so that the Secret Council approved the election of a new abbot two years later. In 1786 Gilbert Michl was elected the last abbot of Steingaden.
The convent and monastery were abolished in 1803 in the course of secularization. 1804-1813 the monastery belonged to the Swiss silk ribbon manufacturer, patron, philanthropist and revolutionary Johann Rudolf Meyer (1739-1813), then his son Johann Rudolf Meyer (1768-1825). The latter sold it back to the Bavarian state in 1816, which made it a military foal yard. The monastery buildings were demolished in 1819 except for the wing that contains the Romanesque cloister. The monastery estate of 213 ha was donated in 1965 by the owner of the Steingaden parish church foundation.
Images taken: 2018-06-03
Map, address, and coordinates
Klosterkirche Steingaden, Steingaden, Germany
Germany | Deutschland, Bavaria | Bayern