The Breathtaking Monasteries in Baden-Württemberg & the Swabian Alb

Monasteries are not just religious structures; they are also cultural goldmines that hold secrets to the legends and history of an area. I fully believe that so much can be understood about past civilizations by simply studying their religious facilities. That’s why I was so thrilled to get to see two beautiful monasteries during my time in the Swabian Alb region of Germany. So, without further ado, let’s talk a bit about the breathtaking monasteries in Baden-Württemberg and the Swabian Alb region.

Blaubeuren Monastery

The Blaubeuren Monastery is a building that has been through a great deal of change throughout the history of the town. It started as a Benedictine Monastery until the Reformation before turning into a Protestant Seminary in modern times. In fact, students of many ages still live in the dormitories and study theology at the Blaubeuren Monastery today. Unlike olden times, however, woman are allowed to study there now.

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The chapel area of the monastery is quite striking and well worth the tour. As you enter the building, you pass through stone passageways that eventually reveal a beautiful circular tower with a well underneath it that churns the flowing water under the town. From there, you can walk out into the vibrant courtyard prior to moving into the chapel, itself.

The chapel itself houses an array of religious art dating back hundreds of years. While the art was quite interesting (and a bit weird) in itself, the chapel would simply take your breath away. From the articulately detailed wood carvings to the alter on the chapel, it was a sight to behold. So, if you’re looking to take in the beautiful sights and rich history of the area near the Swabian Alb, I highly recommend you visit the monastery here to soak in the peaceful environment as you visit the breathtaking monasteries in Baden-Württemberg.

Wiblingen Abbey

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Malorie King (@maloriemackey)

I feel that when most people think of a Baroque Monastery, they picture some gorgeously ornate library that looks as if it stepped out of a fairy tale. I think the Strahov Monastery Library trended all over social media and may have started (or at least help to spread) that trend. I visited Strahov last summer, and I will say that I was pretty disappointed that we couldn’t go inside the library to get a closer look at its beauty. While I understand the reasoning, it’s still disappointing to not be able to immerse yourself deeply into the history of such a cultural hot spot. Perhaps, that’s what I loved the absolute most about Wiblingen Abbey and its breathtakingly surreal Baroque library. Not only can guests see the library structure, but you are allowed to walk in and admire all the gorgeously articulate details up close. You truly get to immerse yourself in this beautiful fairy-tale-like place.

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As you walk into the library, you’ll see shiny floors, statues that look like glistening marble (which actually aren’t made from marble, as the base of the monastery wouldn’t hold the weight of actual marble statues), ceilings depicting elaborate religious stories, shining gold paint, and an array of historical books and archives. The pastel colors adorned with shining gold just scream ‘baroque’, and the bookshelves at the end of both sides of the library hide circular staircases that take you up to a second-story walkway. It’s a magical library that looks as it if it walked out of my dreams, and its beauty (along with the knowledge held there) made this one of my favorite spots I visited in Germany on this adventure as we visited the most breathtaking monasteries in Baden-Württemberg.

There is also a museum on the site of the monastery, and you are also welcomed to walk around the grounds of the building, as well. The abbey was built in 1093 and served as a Benedictine abbey before later being used as barracks. It was reformed in 1701 (through 1806) as a revival in art, culture, and religion had the building expanded upon and the buildings changed to reflect a more ‘modern’ look at that time. Everything was erected to look Late-Baroque in style except the actual church which claimed an early Neo-Calassicism style. Today, it houses the medical faculty of the University of Ulm and is used for studies. And as mentioned above, it also serves as a museum.

All in all, I love visiting old monasteries, as I believe they are a great insight into the history and culture of civilization. The belief systems of a culture tell us so much about the daily lives and habits of its inhabitants, so it’s always an insightful adventure when I get to discover these religious structures. And I strongly encourage you to do the same. If you find yourself in Southern Germany, I can’t recommend a visit to both Blaubeuren and to Wiblingen Abbey near Ulm enough! They were too culturally fascinating places that are well worth an adventure to see!

Malorie Mackey is an actress, published author, and adventurer. Malorie grew up in Richmond, Virginia where she loved sports, the outdoors, animals, and all forms of art. She took to acting at a young age, so it was no surprise when she decided to go to college for theatre. While in college, Malorie studied body movement with the DAH Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia, voice in Herefordshire, England with Frankie Armstrong, and the business of theatre in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Malorie moved from the East Coast to Los Angeles after receiving her BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon arriving in LA, Malorie participated in the Miss California USA 2011 Pageant where she won the “Friend’s Choice” Award (by popular vote) and received a beautiful award for it.

While living on the West Coast, Malorie accumulated over 40 acting credits working on a variety of television shows, web series, and indie films, such as the sci-fi movie “Dracano,” the Biography Channel show “My Haunted House,” the tv pilot “Model Citizen” with Angie Everhart, and the award-winning indie film “Amelia 2.0.”

Throughout her experiences, Malorie found a love for travel and adventure, having journeyed to over a dozen countries experiencing unique locations. From the lush jungles of the Sierra Madre mountain range to the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, Malorie began adventuring and writing about her unique travels. These travel excerpts can be found on VIVA GLAM Magazine, in Malorie’s Adventure Blog, in Malorie’s adventure show: “Weird World Adventures” and in the works for her full-length travel book.

In 2022, Malorie was thrilled to become a member of the Explorer’s Club through her work on scientific travel. Her experiences volunteering on archaeological and anthropological expeditions as well as with animal conservation allowed her entry into the exclusive club. Since then, Malorie has focused more on scientific travel.

Malorie’s show “Weird World Adventures” releases on Amazon Prime Video in the Spring of 2024! Stay tuned as Malorie brings the strangest wonders of the world to you!

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