Monastery Weltenburg
A beer in heaven as on earth

Weltenburg Monastery

History of the monastery and the world‘s oldest monastery brewery

  • 45 AD
    Along the south bank of the Danube near Weltenburg is the starting point of a Roman border and military road leading to Fort Hüfingen near Donaueschingen. This road – named “Donausüd” by historians – is one of the two most important east-west connections north of the Alps. Near Burghöfe it takes over oncoming traffic from the “Via Claudia”.
  • about 617
    Weltenburg Monastery is founded by the Hiberno-Scottish monks Eustasius and Agilus of Lexeuil following the rules of St. Columba.
  • about 800
    The Monastery adopts the rule of St. Benedict.
  • about 899
    At the end of the 9th century a nomadic people of Finno-Ugrian descent appears at the eastern borders of the occident – the Hungarians. They lay waste to Italy, Bavaria, Saxony, the Bavarian Eastern March and Swabia. Out of fear the monks leave the Monastery at the beginning of the 10th century.
  • 932
    Weltenburg becomes a proprietary monastery of the Bishopric of Regensburg and is repopulated by St. Emmeram´s Abbey.
  • 1050
    The Monastery Brewery is founded.
  • 1191
    The newly built church is consecrated.
  • 1441 to 1450
    During the 14th and 15th century the Monastery suffers under the administration of abbots and administrators, which eventually leads to introduction of reform led by Kastl Abbey.
  • 1546 to 1547
    Emperor Carl V. is at war with an alliance of Protestant sovereigns and cities under the leadership of Electoral Saxony and Hesse. War initially breaks out in the south of Germany and Weltenburg Monastery is sacked.
  • 1553 to 1556
    Abbot Michael II. Häusler is forced to sell valuable inventory of the Monastery library due to serve economic problems.
  • 1626 to 1659
    Abbot Matthias Abelin directs Weltenburg Monastery through the Thirty Years War. Although the Monastery is sacked several times, he leaves it in good order.
  • 1686
    The Monastery is one of the founders of the Bavarian Benedictine Congregation, an association of independent Bavarian Benedictine monasteries, which is founded by Pope Innocent XI in 1684.
  • 1713 to 1743
    Frauenberg Church, churches in the incorporated parishes and the new Monastery buildings are built under the supervision of Abbot Maurus I. Bachl. Between 1716 and 1739 the Asam Brothers, who are most important exponents of German late Baroque, build the baroque Monastery Church of St. George.
  • 1803
    The Monastery is dissolved during secularization.
  • 1858
    Weltenburg, together with Metten Abbey, St. Bonifaz Abbey (Munich) and Andechs Abbey, is responded by Pope Pius IX.
  • 1913
    Weltenburg becomes a monastery again. Main functions of the Monastery are the parish pastoral care (of four parishes) and the accommodations of guests in St. George´s guesthouse.
  • Today
    Weltenburg Monastery houses 14 monks; since 1998 Thomas Maria Freihart is abbot.
    The Abbey buildings are highly flood-prone due to their immediate riverside locations. Between January and October 2006 measures to protect the Monastery from flooding were taken and barriers were erected.