THE MONASTERY OF W A L K E N R I E D

A brief historical Review

 
1129The first Convent moves in from Altenkamp (lower Rhenania) and takes possession of the grounds donated to the Order of the Cistercians by Adelheid of Walkenried. Thus Walkenried is in the line of the primary abbey of Morimond and the third monastery of the order in Germany after Kamp and Ebrach. Already in
1132the first filial foundation is carried out, nowadays in Schulpforte close to Naumburg.
1137A basilica in Norman style is consecrated, and the donation is confirmed by the Pope.
1141Sittichenbach close to Eisleben becomes the second filial foundation. By means of these foundations a total of 19 monasteries in the east up to Falkenau in the Baltic States are derived from Walkenried.
1209The Convent starts the construction of a church in Gothic style, the eastern wing of which is utilizable in 1253, and in
1290one of the largest ecclisiastical buildings in northern Germany (the nave has 92 m., the transept 35.6 m.) is consecrated, in 1294 the unique double cloisters. The other cloisters are reconstructed in Gothic style during the 14th century.
1506The number of monks has shrunk to the canonical minimum of 12, where as the monastery had held 80 canonicals and 180 lay brethren in 1300.
1525The monastery is occupied by 800 insurgent peasants (Peasants' war). Due to the wrecking of the foof turret, the church starts to go to ruins, and since 1570 - up to today - service is held in the chapter-hall.
1542The monastery is promoted into estates of the Empire ("Reichsstift"), 1546 the Convent converts to Protestantism. 1557 a grammar school is established and exists for 111 years.
1578The last abbot for Walkenried dies. The patrons - the counts of Honstein - become responsible for the administration until Walkenried falls controversially to the Dukes of Brunswick and Lüneburg in 1593.
1648The Protestant convent is dissolved, the property is secularized.
1817It is prohibited to make use of the church as a quarry. In spite of attempts to preserve the remnants - first in 1870 -, parts of the polygonal high choir cave in 1902.
1972After another part of the high choir has been partly taken down, a non-profit society for the benefit of the monastery is founded. The district of Osterode am Harz takes the responsibility for the monastary owned by the Brunswick Foundation and in
1977takes extensive architectural measures to keep up the remnants of the church as well as the enclosures and to prepare the cloisters for cultural use.
1984The place reopens for the public. A service for guided tours is established, and the first "concerts in the cloisters" are held.

In 1989, the high choir is reconstructed in the condition before 1902, in 1993 the ground plan of the ruined church is shown according to examples in England. Prospective planning refers to an access to the dormitory and rooms for exhibitions and seminars in the southern enclosures.


Plan of the monastery ground
1 Ground plan of the ruined church
2 High Choir
3 Apse of the Norman church*
4 Double cloisters
5 Chapter hall (protestant church)
6 Friars' workroom
7 Well-house
8 Refectory*
9 Former lay refectory*
10 So-called Abbot's chapel
11 New adjoining rooms, cafeteria
Eingang: Entrance

* at present not visible, not accessible or removec

For further information, we recommend the brochure "Kloster Walkenried" published by Deutscher Kunstverlag Munich which can be purchased at the entrance or in the cafeteria.

Landkreis Osterode am Harz - twinned with Scarborough Borough