Aerial view of Schöntal Monastery

The monastery as homeThe buildings

Schöntal Monastery came by its present-day appearance during the Baroque period. The Medieval monastery was significantly altered in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Baroque church, the New Abbey and the convent were created within that period.

Exterior of Schöntal Monastery

Exterior of the outbuildings, Schöntal Monastery.

The outbuildings

Monks from Maulbronn began construction in the 12th century. They arranged everything they would need for an independent existence in a half circle around the church: monastery mill, bakery, barn, dairy, butcher, fruit barn, brewery and distillery. They protected the monastery with defensive walls and gate towers. The officiants’ building is located in the entrance hall to the monastery and was built in 1617 as a post and living quarters for financial officials.

Old Abbey, Schöntal Monastery

The Old Abbey is one of the older structures.

Older structures

The inner gate building was built around 1400 and is currently used as a Protestant rectory. This space was occupied by a gatekeeper who controlled access to the monastery until 1621. Next door is the Kilian Chapel, a Protestant parish church since 1975. The Gothic structure was built in 1320 and is the oldest surviving building in and around the monastery. The Old Abbey, which served as the monks’ dining hall, was built in 1617. Today, it houses a permanent exhibition as well as the Catholic parish office.

Außenansicht von Kloster Schöntal

View across the former monastery garden to the outbuildings and church.

New functions for the outbuildings

The bakery, the dairy, the monastery mill, the barn, the fruit barn and the brewery have not been used for their original purposes in a long time. The forestry administration moved its forestry school into the fruit barn in 1990. The former brewery was converted into the educational center's quite house in 1996. Schöntal's municipal administration took its place in the officiants’ building.

Double-towered Baroque church, Schöntal Monastery

The Baroque church is part of the artistic synthesis.

The monastery's core: the church, the convent and the New Abbey

Construction began on the Baroque monastery church and its double-towered facade in 1708. Abbot Benedikt Knittel drove this construction forward. Architect Bernhard Schießer completed the project around 1717. The convent building was built between 1701 and 1707. The Holy Sepulchral Chapel on the Kreuzberg was consecrated in 1720. The palatial New Abbey was built under Knittel's successor, Angelus Münch, between 1738 and 1745, and was outfitted with a magnificent staircase. It completes the Baroque artistic synthesis.

A walk up to the Holy Sepulcher Chapel on the Kreuzberg provides an excellent impression of the monastery's scale. From there, visitors can behold both the monastery and its double towers as well as the cultural landscape around Hohenlohe.

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