On the eastern shore of the lake, the laid-back town of Tegernsee is home to this large Benedictine monastery. Founded in the 8th century, this was one of the most productive cultural centers in southern Germany; one of the Minnesänger (wandering lyrical poets), Walther von der Vogelweide (1170–1230), was a welcome guest. Not so welcome were Magyar invaders, who laid waste to the monastery in the 10th century. During the Middle Ages the monastery made a lively business producing stained-glass windows, thanks to a nearby quartz quarry, and in the 16th century it became a major center of printing. The late-Gothic church was refurbished in Italian baroque style in the 18th century and was where heirs to the Wittelsbach dynasty were married. The frescoes inside are by Hans Georg Asam, whose work also graces the Benediktbeuren monastery in Bavaria. Secularization sealed the monastery's fate at the beginning of the 19th century: almost half the buildings were torn down. Maximilian
I bought the surviving ones and had Leo von Klenze redo them for use as a summer retreat, which is still used by members of the Wittelsbach family and therefore closed to the public.
Today there is a high school on the property, and students write their exams beneath inspiring baroque frescoes in what was the monastery. The church and the Herzogliches Bräustüberl, a brewery and beer hall, are the only parts of the monastery open to the public. Try a Mass (a liter-size mug) of their legendary Tergernseer Helles or Spezial beer.