Kloster Schöntal, Figuren im Treppenhaus

Fascinating art historyHistory of design

The buildings and cultural treasures at Schöntal Monastery originate from various stylistic eras. The Late Romanesque style of the old monastery has disappeared, but the monastery's Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo elements are still around today.

Interior of the Gothic St. Kilian Gate Chapel, Schöntal Monastery

The gate chapel is one of the oldest structures.


Nothing remains of the earlier, late Romanesque monastery in Schöntal. The Gothic St. Kilian Gate Chapel is one of the oldest buildings and was likely built around 1320. The rosette on the eastern choir wall is a typical Gothic element. The ornamentation on a circular base depicts a floral star pattern. The Cistercian order contributed to the spread of the French Gothic style.

Courtyard view of Schöntal Monastery

Ornamentations on the roof and facade.


The Old Abbey was constructed between 1617 and 1618. It is decorated with a stepped gable characteristic of the Renaissance style. The construction of the stepped gable was inspired by antiquity. The stepped gable inside the gate building is richly decorated with snail-shaped ornamentation, forming the roof and the facade. Despite its triangular and rising shape, it emphasizes the horizontal aspects of the building, thus unifying the Renaissance ideals of symmetry and proportion.


The representative Baroque style in the monastery church is present both outside and in. The double-towered facade has a grand effect from a distance and was common in the Baroque period. The entryway is richly decorated. The entire interior is set in motion through Baroque splendor. The room's design is complimented by the Baroque paintings and sculptures leading up to the high altar. The emotional effect of the high altar is expressed in the depiction of the Assumption of Mary. The Holy Sepulcher Chapel on the Kreuzberg was also built in the Baroque period under Abbot Knittel.

View of the Holy Sepulchral Chapel on the Kreuzberg
View of Schöntal Monastery

Baroque splendor: the towers of Schöntal Monastery.


The staircase in the New Abbey was built in the Rococo style. The staircase sweeps upward impressively. Rocailles and filigreed figures decorate the banister. The word “Rococo” comes from the French “rocaille,” meaning “shellwork.” The ornamentation in the staircase is therefore dominated by the shell shape characteristic of the style. The sweeping staircase offers an exciting spatial experience, thus fulfilling its representational purpose.

Detail of the fresco in the staircase, Schöntal Monastery

The staircase as an exciting spatial experience.

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