- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- German Phrases
Kloster Ettal Review
The great monastery was founded in 1330 by Holy Roman Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian for a group of knights and a community of Benedictine monks. This is the largest Benedictine monastery in Germany; approximately 55 monks live here. The abbey was replaced with new buildings in the 18th century and now serves as a school. The original 10-sided church was brilliantly redecorated in 1744-53, becoming one of the foremost examples of Bavarian rococo. The church's chief treasure is its enormous dome fresco (83 feet wide), painted by Jacob Zeiller circa 1751-52. The mass of swirling clouds and the pink-and-blue vision of heaven are typical of the rococo fondness for elaborate ceiling painting.
Today, the Kloster owns most of the surrounding land and directly operates the Hotel Ludwig der Bayer, the Kloster-Laden, and the Kloster-markt. All of the Kloster's activities, from beer production to running the hotel serve one singular purpose: to fund the famous college-prep and boarding schools which are tuition-free.
Ettaler liqueurs, made from a centuries-old recipe, are still distilled at the monastery. The monks make seven different liqueurs, some with more than 70 mountain herbs. Originally the liqueurs were made as medicines, and they have legendary health-giving properties. The ad tells it best: "Two monks know how it's made, 2 million Germans know how it tastes." You can visit the distillery right next to the church and buy bottles of the libation from the gift shop and bookstore. The honey-saffron schnapps is the best.
It's possible to tour the distillery, but not the brewery, since they still use open fermentation tanks. Tours must be arranged prior to arrival with Frau Steffl (08822/74217). The tour includes samples of the seven different kinds of herbal liqueurs and a visit to the beer museum.
- Phone: 08822/740 for guided tour of church
- Cost: Free
- Hours: Daily 8--6
- Location: Ettal
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- German Holidays! Flights to Munich From 585 R/T ASAPTickets.com
- Book the Courtyard Munich City East 3 Nts in May Fr $257+/Nt Expedia
- Visit Munich for Less: Hotels Fr $99+/Nt Travelocity
- Munich 4-Star Hotel Sale! 4 Nts + Air Fr $1313 Expedia
- Discover Munich & More: 8 Nts Aboard Avalon Waterways Fr $2,669 Expedia
Above is a blog that I hope will be entertaining and helpful to anyone who might be interested in backpacking across the continent. This is specifically for anyone who's Read more
We just returned from a relatively quick eight-day holiday break to Berlin, Dresden and Prague and are trying to get going on a trip report while things are still fresh in mind.
I’ve Read more
We are a family of 4 Adults and 3 kids (aged 3, 4 and 9) will be arriving (08:15 am) at Frankfurt on 9th July 2013 as part of our Europe visit. Read more
· News & Features
The Swiss city of Basel is getting ready to host to the who's who of the art world yet again, with the... Read more
Do you suffer from Vacation Deprivation?... Read more
Steinbeck said it well—no matter how many plans you make, its the destination that scoops you up... Read more