Beuron Archabbey

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The Archabbey of St. Martin zu Beuron (Latin Archiabbatia Sancti Martini Beuronensis ) is a Benedictine monastery in Beuron in the Upper Danube Valley and ancestral monastery of the Beuron Congregation, which has existed since 1863 . The Augustinian Canons of Beuron previously existed in the buildings from the 11th century to 1803 .

Benedictine Archabbey of Beuron (2009)


Augustinian Canons of Beuron

Beuron monastery area (1787)

The monastery was founded in the second half of the 11th century (around 1080/1090?). At that time, the monastery of St. Maria and St. Martin was built by the nobleman Peregrin von Hosskirch on a flood-free place in the Danube valley for a community of men who lived according to a canon rule . In 1097 Urban II took the monastery under papal protection and granted him free choice of provost and the Roman freedoms; a royal deed of protection dates from 1131. From the year 1146 comes the news that the customs of the Murbach Abbey (Vosges) and the Augustinian Canons rule apply in Beuron .

In the middle of the 13th century, Beuron appears as a rural monastery of the Mühlheim rule . At that time this rule belonged to the Counts of Hohenzollern , came to the Lords of Weitingen in 1391 and to the Barons of Enzberg in 1409 . The Enzbergers therefore also exercised the sovereign rights over the Beuron possessions - sometimes only on behalf of Austria (treaties 1452 and 1615), which seems to have held certain fiefdoms in parts of the Mühlheim rule. The Enzbergers were presumably regarded as part of the imperial knighthood since the 16th century , and when the latter had to organize itself in circles of knights and knight cantons, the rule of Mühlheim became part of the imperial knight canton of Hegau-Allgäu-Bodensee .

Bishop Hugo von Konstanz gave the monastery new statutes during a visit in 1499 and in 1513 appointed the Kreuzlingen Augustinian Johannes Weck as administrator. The main focus of the Beuron property was north of the Danube in Irndorf , Koenigsheim , Böttingen and Mahlstetten , and south of the Danube between Beuron and Unterschwandorf south of the Danube. In addition, there was remote ownership, which was administered by the three Schaffnereien Freiburg im Breisgau (sale 1668), Stafflangen (near Biberach, sale 1737) and Mengen (sale 1751). There were other workshops in Mühlheim , Egesheim and Ebingen / Balingen .

Since about the second half of the 17th century, Beuron tried to expand his rights and to break away from the rule of Mühlheim. In 1687 Pope Innocent XI raised the provostry to the abbey. In 1721 Austria tried unsuccessfully to turn Beuron into a rural monastery in Austria. Beuron now strove for the imperial estate . For this one needed a wealthy territory. If in 1737 the purchase of the imperial knighthood of Randegg failed, in 1751 the Hohenzollern village of Bärenthal with the little castle of Ensisheim was acquired. However, only a lower court rule was associated with it, the higher rights seem to have remained with Austria. Abbot Rudolf Reichel (1751–1790) tried in vain to obtain imperial immediacy for this rule , which is why he had numerous forged documents drawn up. These attempts at fraud became known, but in 1791 Austria granted the abbey, as an Austrian fief, territorial sovereignty in Bärenthal and the estates of Ensisheim and Rheinfeld / Reinfeld (near Beuron).

In the short remaining period of the empire's existence until 1803/1806, however, this new legal situation no longer seems to have had any major effects. Because Beuron appears neither as imperial territory in the Reichstag nor as district territory in the Swabian district or in the Austrian district . Perhaps the tiny Beuron state with around 500 subjects was now considered imperial without any imperial or district status. Obviously he was no longer considered part of the Mühlheim rule, because Beuron fell to the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen County in 1802/1803 , while the Mühlheim rule came to the Duchy of Württemberg in 1806 . Dominikus Mayer was the last abbot of the Augustinian Canons of Beuron from 1790 to 1802.

Benedictine Archabbey of St. Martin

Beuron in the Danube Valley (2006)
Willibrord Verkade: St. Martin on the west gable of the abbey church, around 1900

Thanks to a foundation by Princess Katharina von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen , a new beginning of monastic life in Beuron was possible in 1862 by the Benedictine monks Maurus and Placidus Wolter . The Archabbey of St. Martin was re-established in 1863 by the brothers as a Benedictine monastery . In 1868 the monastery was elevated to an abbey . Beuron is the founding monastery of the "Beuron Congregation" with today 16 monasteries in Germany, Austria and Denmark. The abbot's staff of the last abbot there, Leodegar Ineichen , came from the Rheinau monastery, which was closed in 1862, after the young Beuron.

During the Kulturkampf , the monks had to leave Beuron from 1875 to 1887. This resulted in the founding and resettlement of other monasteries, which later led to a merger of the various monasteries founded in Beuron in the Beuron Congregation .

The Beuron art school , which was based on early Christian and Byzantine models, had a significant influence on religious art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries .

In addition to pastoral work in neighboring communities and the monastery guest house, scientific activities are an important field of work for the monks. With around 405,000 works, the Beuron Archabbey has the largest monastery library in Germany. The focus is on theology, the history of the Benedictine order and the history of art of the Middle Ages. The library can be used for scientific work by prior arrangement; she participates in the German interlibrary loan system .

Since 1884 the missal of the holy church ( Missale Romanum ), a lay missal , which became known as Der Schott after its founder, the Beuroner Father Anselm Schott (1843-1896), was published.

In 1887 the monastery was elevated to an archabbey.

Memorial plaque for St. Edith Stein in Beuron

Between 1927 and 1933 Edith Stein (1891–1942) often visited the Beuron Monastery; 15 stays are proven. Originally of Jewish descent, she converted to Catholicism in 1922 and became a nun. The Beuronese Abbot Raphael Walzer she held for years by her plan from, the Order of Carmelites Discalced enter, and asked them to continue to act strengthened and the public. In August 1942 Edith Stein was murdered in the gas chamber in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp .

In 1945 Father Bonifatius (Peter Paul) Fischer (1915–1997) founded and built up the Vetus Latina Institute, which aims to collect and publish all surviving old Latin translations of the Bible. The planned edition is designed for 27 volumes. The spiritual work of the monks has been reflected since 1919 in the Benedictine monthly , which since 1959 has been entitled to Heritage and Mission (EuA). The font is published by the Archabbey of Beuron, it is published by Beuroner Kunstverlag.

The Theological University of Beuron stopped teaching in 1967, but continues to exist legally. The St. Benedikt hermitage near Großschönach , one of the last remains of the castle of the Counts and Knights of Ramsberg from the 11th century , has been inhabited by Brother Jakobus Kaffanke OSB, monk of the Beuron monastery, since 1993 . He leads a large part of the year there - untypical for a Benedictine - hermit life , is still active in the monastery (primarily as a retreat companion ). At the beginning of September 2008, the convent of the Beuron Archabbey had 50 monks (20 of them priests); there are also 8 novices.

In 2004 the Archabbey built the Cella St. Benedikt on the former monastery island Reichenau , to which three monks belong. You live in the rectory in Niederzell. Beuron had already made a similar attempt once in the 1930s, which failed due to resistance from the National Socialists.

List of archabbots since 1863

  1. Maurus (Rudolf) Wolter from Bonn (1825–1890): Founder Prior 1863, Abbot 1868–1890, Archabbot 1885
  2. Placidus (Ernst) Wolter from Bonn, brother of the founder (1828–1908): 1890–1908
  3. Ildefons (Friedrich) Schober from Pfullendorf (1849–1918): 1908–1917
  4. Raphael (Josef) Waltz from Ravensburg (1888–1966): 1918–1937
  5. Benedict I (Karl Borromäus) Baur from Mengen (1877–1963): 1938–1955
  6. Benedikt II. (Johannes) Reetz from Ripsdorf / Eifel (1897–1964): 1957–1964
  7. Damasus (Josef) Zähringer from Ibach (1899–1977): 1965–1967
  8. Ursmar (Johannes) Engelmann from Jena (1909–1986): 1970–1980
  9. Hieronymus (Gerhard) Nitz from Flensburg (1928–2020): 1980–2001
  10. Theodor (Klaus) Hogg from Kirchen-Hausen (* 1941): 2001–2011
  11. Tutilo (Heinz) Burger from Seppenhofen (* 1965), since 2011

Monastery complex

Look at the choir

After being elevated to the status of an abbey in 1687, the monastery was rebuilt from 1694 to 1709 under Franz Beer and Johannes Brix from Messkirch. The monastery library was decorated by members of the Wessobrunn school . The monastery complex includes the impressive baroque monastery and pilgrimage church on Via Beuronensis with valuable ceiling paintings, as well as the Mercy Chapel with paintings in the Beuron style.

Abbey church

The interior of the baroque abbey church was remodeled in 1872 according to the Beuron school. A restoration from 1947 undone most of it. The facade shows remains of a historical baroque exterior painting. The Beuron art style has survived in the high altar sheet. The altarpiece of the high altar can be changed. The alternating picture of the coronation of Mary is exchanged for the picture with the nativity scene every year at Christmas time. This picture is a work by Gabriel Wüger from 1867. Due to storage damage (it was kept rolled up) it had to be painstakingly restored a few years ago. Today the three by six meter picture is stretched on a wooden frame. The altarpiece must be carried into the church via the cemetery and fastened above the high altar with the help of a pulley system. The abbey church was built from 1732 to 1738 by order of Abbot Rudolf II von Strachwitz by the master builder Matthäus Scharpf from Rottweil, the high altar was a major work by Joseph Anton Feuchtmayer , which was created together with the plasterers Johann Georg Dirr and Franz Anton Dirr , and showed the Assumption of Mary. The two side altars and the confessionals are still preserved and also come from Feuchtmayer and Dirr. Joseph Ignaz Weegschaider from Riedlingen painted the ceiling frescos . Further stucco work comes from Johannes Schütz from Wurzach and from Pontian Gigl from Wessobrunn. A ceiling fresco shows the founding history of the Beuron Monastery: According to tradition, the Mother of God appeared to Count Peregrin von Hosskirch while hunting and ordered him to build a monastery on this site. Another ceiling fresco shows Saint Martin riding a white horse while dividing his coat. Thanks to the baroque illusion painting, the viewer, no matter where he is in the church, has the impression that the “Beuron white horse” is looking at him.


Main organ “St. Martin "

The organ of the abbey church was built in 1984 by the organ building company Johannes Klais (Bonn). The historicizing prospect is based on the baroque organ from the 18th century. The instrument with 57 registers on three manuals and a pedal has mechanical keyboard actions and electrical stop actions .

I Rückpositiv C – g 3

1. Tube bare 8th'
2. Quintadena 8th'
3. Principal 4 ′
4th flute 4 ′
5. Octave 2 ′
6th Forest flute 2 ′
7th Sesquialter II 2 23
8th. Larigot 1 13
9. Scharff IV 1'
10. Vox humana 8th'
11. Cromorne 8th'
II Hauptwerk C – g 3
12. Bourdon 16 ′
13. Principal 8th'
14th Principal beat 8th'
15th Salicional 8th'
16. Flûte harmonique 8th'
17th Dumped 8th'
18th Octave 4 ′
19th Flûte octaviante 4 ′
20th Fifth 2 23
21st Super octave 2 ′
22nd Cornet V 8th'
23. Mixture V 1 13
24. Cymbel III 12
25th Trumpet 8th'
26th Clairon 4 ′
III Swell C – g 3
27. Quintadena 16 ′
28. diapason 8th'
29 Gamba 8th'
30th Vox coelestis 8th'
31. Flûte harmonique 8th'
32. Night horn covered 8th'
33. Fugara 4 ′
34. Flûte octaviante 4 ′
35. Nasard 2 23
36. Octavine 2 ′
37. third 1 35
38. Piccolo 1'
39. Fittings VI 2 ′
40. Basson 16 ′
41. Trumpet harm. 8th'
42. Hautbois 8th'
43. Clairon harm. 4 ′
Pedal C – f 1
44. Pedestal 32 ′
45. Principal 16 ′
46. Contrabass 16 ′
47. Sub bass 16 ′
48. Octave 8th'
49. cello 8th'
50. Bourdon 8th'
51. Fifth 5 13
52. Super octave 4 ′
53. Flute 4 ′
54. Back set IV 2 23
55. trombone 16 ′
56. Trumpet 8th'
57. Clairon 4 ′


Since restoration work was completed at the end of 2012, the Beuron crypt has been a church space under the Gnadenkapelle, an extension of the Beuron monastery church, which is open to the public. The crypt is the burial place of the Beuron archabbots and was the church for the parish of Beuron until the end of the 1980s. The room furnished with columns was painted in the style of the Beuron art school, but does not represent such a valuable relic of Beuron art as, for example, the Gnadenkapelle or the Maurus chapel , which is three kilometers away from the abbey. The interior of the lower church of the Gnadenkapelle is no longer completely in its original state as it was at the time the Gnadenkapelle was built from 1898. The two marble side altars were in the monastery church until the mid-1960s and were only used at this time as part of the redesign of the church interior moved to the crypt. Vaults, wall paintings and tombstones were restored, the floor was replaced with granite stone slabs and new lighting and underfloor heating were installed.


The abbey church has a six-part bronze bell that is tuned to the tone sequence c'-es'-f'-as'-b'-c "and was cast in 1912/13 by master bell founder Georg Wolfart from Lauingen.

Chapel of Mercy

The murals in the Chapel of Mercy of the Beuron Church are designed for the veneration of Mary.


The Archabbey of Beuron maintains the largest German monastery library with around 405,000 volumes. The focus is on all theological disciplines, especially liturgical studies , the history of art in the Middle Ages , the history of the Benedictine order and patrology .

Pilgrims Office

On Corpus Christi 2009, the pilgrims' office was opened in the former monastery bookshop in Beuron. The pilgrims' office on the ground floor of a monastery extension is intended to serve as a meeting place for pilgrims on the Via Beuronensis . Official pilgrimage cards can be issued, which are recognized in Santiago de Compostela . The pilgrim's office consists of two office work rooms and the reception room. Applied arts and crafts and antiques from the monastery are offered in the reception room.

St. Maurus

About 2.5 kilometers downstream on the left bank of the Danube is the hamlet of St. Maurus im Feld on the way to Langenbrunn . The former agricultural estate of the monastery is located in the area of ​​the abandoned town of Oberhausen (formerly Füllehaus, first mentioned in documents of the Beuron monastery in the 13th century, existed as a courtyard with a building until the 19th century). The listed country residence St. Maurus im Feld was built for the princess-widow Katharina von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen . The whole consists of the country house built in 1868 and the Maurus chapel in honor of the abbot Maurus . It was built and furnished by the architect, painter and sculptor Peter (Desiderius) Lenz from 1868 to 1870, and he brought in his painter friend from the academy, Jakob (Gabriel) Wüger , and his pupil Lukas Steiner . All three entered the monastery, took religious names and formed a working group, the so-called " Beuron Art School ".

Danube hydropower plant

The St. Maurus hydropower plant , a monastery-owned hydropower plant on the Danube in the hamlet of St. Maurus between Beuron and the Talhof near Langenbrunn , has been in operation for generating electricity since 1921 . After a comprehensive renovation in 2008/09, the performance could be increased and stabilized.

Renovation since 1989

Since 1989 (the equivalent of) ten million euros have been invested in construction work. The money was raised through donations and large sponsors. Funds from the preservation of state monuments and special funds from the country flowed into the Benedictine abbey. The Diocese of Rottenburg and the Archdiocese of Freiburg have approved funds for the monastery, although it is not subject to either of the two dioceses.

Among other things, 770 windows and 8,900 square meters of roof were renovated. Compact measures were initiated and completed year after year. In 1989, the building committee began to renovate the south side of the church facade, the church forecourt and the cemetery wall, in 1992 it was the west facade of the church, in 1997 the church roof, in 1998 the archive of Beuroner Kunst and in 2000 the historical wooden bridge. The library was rebuilt in 2001. In 2003, interior fittings in the refectory were made. The economic building in Sankt Maurus was renovated in 2006 and the clergy building in 2008. In 2009, the Sankt Maurus power plant and the north facade of the church from the church entrance area to the Chapel of Grace were due. The building committee disbanded in April 2009. In 2009, the relics of the original baroque facade design were found in the renovation area. In 2010, after 20 years, the renovation of the entire historic church facade in the northeast area with the choir was completed. Damaged areas in the plaster were repaired, all sandstone window sills were renewed, the historic church windows were given double protective glazing and new paint was applied. For practical reasons as well as for preservation reasons, it was not possible to restore the baroque facade. Designing the church with a Beuroner-style facade on two sides and the Baroque facade on one side was out of the question, and painting the other two sides again so shortly after the redesign of the facade would not have been economically feasible. For this reason, an earthy shade is now moving around the entire monastery complex. Also in 2010, the area of ​​the historic gate was renovated for 380,000 euros. This intermediate area between the historical building complex, the south wing and the later built guest wing was only spanned by a rotten wooden roof and an equally dilapidated wooden glass corridor. The old roof structure and the wooden glass corridor leading over the old gate were replaced. Now the baroque gable facade of the south wing is fully visible again. The area in which the gate is housed today was not built until the 1950s after the fire in the economic section and is controversial among experts with regard to its architectural quality. In 2011, the facade works on the actual monastery building between the church and the library followed.

Association of Friends of the Archabbey of St. Martin

The Association of Friends of the Archabbey of St. Martin , founded in 1989 by 13 people, sees itself as a partner of the monastery. His most urgent task is to have constant work on the building fabric and to ensure that it is preserved. The founding of the association was initiated by Archabbot Hieronymus Nitz and the then Interior Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Dietmar Schlee .

In 2008 the association had 1,790 members. The first chairman is Tanja Gönner , the former Baden-Württemberg Minister for the Environment and Transport . Her predecessors in this office were Dietmar Schlee and, after his death, from 2002 Friedhelm Repnik .

Known monks

  • Gabriel Wüger (1829–1892), father and representative of the Beuron art school
  • Desiderius Lenz (1832–1928), father and founder of the Beuron art school
  • Benedikt Sauter (1835–1908), co-founder and first novice of the Benedictine Beuron and first abbot of the Emmaus monastery in Prague
  • Anselm Schott (1843–1896), father and editor of the most famous Latin-German missal for lay people
  • Lukas Steiner (1849–1906), father and representative of the Beuron art school
  • Hildebrand de Hemptinne (1849–1913), father and founder of Maredsous Abbey
  • Ambrosius Kienle (1852–1905), father and choral researcher, music teacher and editor of one of the most famous "choral schools"
  • Willibrord Verkade (1868–1946), painter monk
  • Alban Dold (1882–1960), Benedictine, liturgical scholar, palaeographer and palimpsest researcher
  • Nikolaus von Lutterotti (1892–1955), had to leave the Prague Emauskloster with the German convent after the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and finished his theological studies in Beuron. After the ordination he worked in the monastery Grüssau in Lower Silesia
  • Gregor Sorger (1906–1950), priest, missionary monk and martyr
  • Bonifatius Fischer (1915–1997), father and specialist in the history of texts in the Latin Bible

Place of pilgrimage

The Beuron Archabbey is also a place of pilgrimage. The feast of the Assumption of Mary is one of the main pilgrimage days in Beuron, along with Anna's day in July. The candlelight procession in honor of the Blessed Mother Mary was founded in 1954 on the occasion of the Marian Year, the Pope Pius XII. in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary . In good weather, the Marian celebration is held with around 2000 believers at the Lourdes grotto in the Liebfrauental. Many candles illuminate the Marian shrine in the rocky forest gorge. The widespread custom of the blessing of herbs and flowers on the Assumption of Mary is also cultivated here. The herb bushes are blessed in the devotion on Sunday evening in Liebfrauental and after the pilgrimage mass on Monday.


  • 150 years of Benedictines in Beuron. A changing monastery , ed. from the Archabbey of St. Martin zu Beuron. Beuroner Kunstverlag, Beuron 2013, ISBN 978-3-87071-305-8 . [Festschrift for the Jubilee 1863–2013]
  • Have unpredictable death in front of your eyes every day. Necrologium Beuronense 1863 - 2013 . Edited by Theodor Hogg OSB and Jakobus Kaffanke OSB, Beuroner Kunstverlag, Beuron 2013, ISBN 978-3-87071-307-2 . [Directory of all Beuron monks who died from 1863 to 2013 with short biographies]
  • Notburg Geibel / Stefan Petzolt OSB: The song of the monks , Beuroner Kunstverlag, Beuron 2006, ISBN 3-87071-147-7 [picture-text volume, which opens up today's Beuron monk life from the celebration of the liturgy, with Gregorian chant CD]
  • Augustinus Gröger OSB: The Beuron Monastery , in: Edwin Ernst Weber (ed.): Monasteries in the district of Sigmaringen in the past and present , (local history series of the district of Sigmaringen, Volume 9), Kunstverlag Josef Fink, Lindenberg 2005, pp. 46-92 , ISBN 3-89870-190-5 .
  • Notker Hiegl OSB: Beuron and his saints , Beuroner Kunstverlag, Beuron 1996 [popular representation of the most important Beuron monastery saints ]
  • Manfred Krebs: The oldest owned toboggan of the Beuron monastery , in: “Freiburg Diocesan Archive”, New Series, 36 (1935), pp. 217–244.
  • Hubert Krins: The Art of the Beuron School. "Like a ray of light from the sky" , Beuroner Kunstverlag, Beuron 1998, ISBN 3-87071-078-0 . [Important overview work on Beuron art]
  • Hubert Krins: Beuron on the Danube. History, church and monastery, monks and works, place and surroundings . Beuroner Kunstverlag / Kunstverlag Josef Fink, Beuron / Lindenberg im Allgäu 2004, ISBN 3-87071-115-9 or ISBN 3-89870-167-0 .
  • Johannes Schaber OSB: Phenomenology and Monasticism . Max Scheler , Martin Heidegger , Edith Stein and the Beuron Archabbey ; in: Holger Zaborowski & Stephan Loos (eds.): Life, death and decision. Studies on the intellectual history of the Weimar Republic . Berlin 2003, pp. 71-100.
  • Cyrill Schäfer OSB (ed.): Solesmes and Beuron. Letters and documents 1862–1914 (= studies on monastic culture, vol. 6). Eos Verlag, St. Ottilien 2013. ISBN 978-3-8306-7616-4 .
  • Benedikt Schwank OSB: Benedictines in general and Beuron Benedictines in particular. A lecture in front of the Jesuits , in: Erbe und Einsatz, 72 (1996), pp. 482-490.

Web links

Commons : Beuron Abbey  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Livestream of the services from the Archabbey

Individual evidence

  1. lecture. Brother James introduces Edith Stein . In: Schwäbische Zeitung from October 24, 2008
  2. Hermann-Peter Steinmüller: Solving problems together . In: Südkurier from January 5, 2005
  3. ^ Hermann-Peter Steinmüller (hps): Hard work in the Beuron abbey church . Südkurier from December 22, 2007
  4. Information on the organ of the abbey church
  5. Hermann-Peter Steinmüller (hps): Church space remains closed . In: Südkurier of July 9, 2010
  6. Sandra Häusler: Pilgrim Quiz: How well do you know the region around Messkirch and Beuron? . In: Südkurier of May 13, 2015
  7. Official station on the Way of St. James in a former monastery bookshop. Pilgrims Office opens its doors . In: Südkurier from June 15, 2009
  8. Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg: Württembergisches Urkundenbuch OnlineBand V., No. 1258, pp. 19–21
  9. Walther Genzmer : The art monuments of Hohenzollern. Volume 2: District of Sigmaringen , W. Speemann, Stuttgart 1948. P. 65.
  10. St. Maurus im Feld (Maurusstrasse 1, 4, Beuron) on the pages of (regional information system for Baden-Württemberg)
  11. The Maurus Chapel on the side of the Archabbey of St. Beuron
  12. St. Maurus hydroelectric power station on the side of the St. Beuron Archabbey
  13. Vera Romeu (from right): Beuron Monastery. The construction committee dissolves after the order . In: Schwäbische Zeitung from April 22, 2009
  14. ^ Hermann-Peter Steinmüller (hsp): The scaffolding at the monastery twisted . In: Südkurier of November 12, 2010
  15. Ursula Mallkowsky (sky): Environment Minister Tanja Gönner comments on her position as chairwoman in Beuron. "The choice means trust" . In: Südkurier from December 6, 2008
  16. ↑ Light procession for the solemn festival. In: Südkurier of August 12, 2011

Coordinates: 48 ° 3 ′ 5.1 ″  N , 8 ° 58 ′ 11 ″  E