|Cistercian monastery Walkenried|
View of the enclosure and the ruins of the monastery church from the west
according to Janauschek
|Year of dissolution /
|Mother monastery||Kamp Monastery|
|Primary Abbey||Morimond Monastery|
|UNESCO world heritage|
|Double-nave cloister in the Walkenried monastery
|Criteria :||(i) (ii) (iii) (iv)|
|Reference No .:||623|
|UNESCO region :||Europe and North America|
|History of enrollment|
|Enrollment:||1992 (session 16)|
Since 2010, the monastery complex has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name Rammelsberg Mine, Goslar Old Town and Upper Harz Water Management .
History of the monastery
In 1127, Adelheid von Walkenried (probably a daughter of the Counts of Lohra ) founded the third Cistercian monastery in the German-speaking area. During a pilgrimage she met monks from the newly founded Cistercian monastery in Kamp on the Lower Rhine and offered them to settle in their country. The creek of the Wieda and the immediate proximity to the Harz met the location criteria of the Cistercians : sufficient distance to settlements, location on a lowland with watercourse and the possibility of economic development, so that the founding convention from Kamp moved in in 1129 and could start building the Romanesque church . The later emperor Lothar III. von Süpplingenburg confirmed the monastery foundation in 1132. In the same year the first daughter monastery Pforta near Naumburg was founded. In 1141 the second daughter monastery Sittichenbach near Eisleben was founded .
Equipped with water technology know-how , the monks began in 1144 with the drainage and reclamation of the Upper Ried in the Helme lowlands on the southern edge of the Harz, today's Golden Aue . Through the principle of subsistence farming , the tight, centralized order structure and additional start-up capital, especially through Emperor Lothar III. von Süpplingenburg , the monastery grew within a very short time.
12th to 19th centuries
The heyday of the monastery took place in the 12th and 13th centuries. From 1150 Walkenried maintained around 30 grangia and six town yards on the southern, later also on the northern edge of the Harz , as well as one grangie near and one town yard in Würzburg . It operated mining and smelting on Rammelsberg , near Gittelde and in the Harz Mountains. In addition to agriculture , the coal and steel industry and later also the money economy formed other important economic pillars. For more than two centuries, the Walkenried monks were mountain and hut lords in the Harz Mountains and owned extensive forest areas, primarily for the production of charcoal for their copper smelters. The monastery had become a medieval monastic group developed. In the 13th century around 100 choir monks and over 200 conversers lived, prayed and worked in the monastery. Due to its economic activities, the Walkenried monastery became one of the richest and most politically important monasteries of the Reformed Cistercian order.
The Gothic monastery church, one of the largest churches in Northern Germany, was consecrated in 1290 after around 80 years of construction. The reading aisle (the northern two-aisled cloister ) was also completed. The Gothic enclosure was completed around 1330 after around 40 years of construction.
The decline began in the middle of the 14th century. Walkenried's core mining business stagnated due to the crisis in the Upper Harz mining industry , and the plague and ecological problems made agriculture more and more difficult. To compensate for the economic cuts, the monastery switched to interest management. The convent sank in 1509 to the canonical minimum of 12 monks and one abbot . The monastery church was badly damaged in the Peasant Wars in 1525. Several hundred rebellious peasants stormed the monastery and brought the wooden turret of the monastery church to collapse, which then fell through the vault and left a hole that was no longer sealed. In 1546 the religious chapter converted to the Reformation . With the establishment of a Latin school in 1556, the Walkenried monastery complex gave itself a new function.
In 1578 the administration of the monastery was taken over by the Counts of Hohnstein , and in 1593 Walkenried fell to the Dukes of Braunschweig and Lüneburg . In 1593, the cathedral convent of Halberstadt enfeoffed the dukes of Braunschweig-Lüneburg with the county of Hohnstein. With this, the monastery buildings, remaining lands and patronage fell to the new sovereigns. Heinrich Julius became administrator . The Protestant convent continued to exist until it was dissolved in 1648. From 1557 until its closure in 1668, a Latin school was located in the monastery. After its closure, the monastery church was used as a quarry for around 150 years and several farms were built within the church ruins. Only the exam was almost completely preserved. Further demolition of the church ruins was prohibited in 1817. In 1876 renovations were carried out in the cloister and in the enclosure .
20th to 21st century
The district of Osterode am Harz was sponsored in 1977 by the owner of the Walkenried monastery complex, the Braunschweigischer Kulturbesitz (SBK) foundation, and initiated extensive renovation and restoration measures. Archaeological excavations by the Lower Saxony State Monument Preservation accompanied the work. In 1983 the Walkenried cloister concerts were brought into being. The opening of the Walkenried Monastery Cistercian Museum , largely shaped and designed by Chief Curator Reinhard Roseneck , followed in 2006.
Since 2010, the monastery complex has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name Rammelsberg Mine, Goslar Old Town and Upper Harz Water Management .
With the merger of the districts of Göttingen and Osterode am Harz , the sponsorship was transferred to the new district of Göttingen in 2016 . In 2017, a new organ with 1714 organ pipes was installed in the chapter house . On January 1, 2019, the sponsorship of the Walkenried Monastery Cistercian Museum was transferred from the Göttingen district to the UNESCO World Heritage Foundation in the Harz Mountains . The Braunschweiger Kulturbesitz Foundation remains the owner of the property . The district of Göttingen will remain responsible for building management in the monastery until 2023.
In July 2020, the first World Heritage Information Center of the UNESCO World Heritage Foundation in the Harz was opened in the listed manor house of the former monastery domain . The world heritage in the Harz measures a total area of 220 square kilometers and has numerous museum locations and publicly accessible ground monuments.
The new Gothic church was initiated by Abbot Heidenreich before 1209 and initially co-financed by Emperor Otto IV . The building followed a French early Gothic scheme, with its floor plan being taken directly from the primary abbey of Morimond . It was a three-aisled basilica with five bays , with six-part vaults in the central nave and a five-aisled choir . The eastern part was used for worship as early as 1253. In 1290, after 80 years of construction, the church was consecrated by Hildesheim Bishop Siegfried II . With a length of well over 90 m, it was one of the largest churches in northern Germany at the time.
The originally straight choir closure was replaced by a 5/8 polygon in the 14th century due to structural difficulties . In the 15th century, the von Werthern burial chapel was set up in the eastern part of the choir . On the inside of the choir polygon there are incised drawings showing members of the family in knight armor. Three tombstones from around 1400 are still preserved.
Parts of the west facade, the south aisle wall and the east part of the south aisle wall have been preserved. In 1902 part of the polygon collapsed . After another partial collapse, the upper parts of the wall were rebuilt in 1987/88.
The closed building, which was completed by 1330 at the latest, adjoins the Gothic church (nruine) to the south and is in very good condition (2013).
The cloister is considered to be one of the most beautiful Gothic in northern Germany. The landmark of Walkenried is the northern double-nave wing, the reading aisle (double-nave cloister), whose ribbed vault is supported in the middle by columns and whose capitals are designed with naturalistic foliage. The other wings of the cloister have a single nave.
The well house has a polygonal floor plan and is connected to the cloister in the middle of the south wing. The originally vaulted room is covered by a flat wooden ceiling.
The bronze fountain, cast around 1220, is no longer preserved. After it was brought to Salzdahlum near Braunschweig by the sovereigns in the 18th century , the trail is lost; possibly it was melted down for war purposes. At the time of the monks, the holy water was taken from the well, here the brothers washed their faces and hands before every meal. They cut each other's tonsure and beard. The regular renewal of the tonsure established the reference to the monk's vows, symbolically this meant a second baptism - the architecture of the fountain house is reminiscent of a chapel .
Brothers Hall and Chapter House
Handicrafts that did not require a workshop were done in the brothers' room, the fraterie . This was the monks' study and work space.
The chapter house , originally the meeting room of the monks, has been a Protestant church since 1570. The vault of the chapter house is supported by pillars without capital . The original colored version of the vault ribs was reconstructed in the 1980s based on findings.
The entire monastic community under the presidency of their abbot belonged to the chapter. The hall was equipped with a surrounding bench and a lectern in the middle of the room. The monks read daily from the Rule of Benedict lying on it. All economic or legal decisions were made in the chapter house. A decision was also made about the admission of the novices . As the place of judgment, every monk here had to confess his guilt and repent publicly .
In 1667 the hall was given a baroque wooden pulpit as the church interior , which Konrad Bonifacius from Ellrich had created. The pulpit is carried by a dolphin and an angel. A figure of Christ, a figure of Martin Luther and depictions of the evangelists are attached to the railing of the basket .
The Cistercian Museum is equipped with two Gothic Madonna figures. The gatehouse Madonna presented in a museum, a strictly frontal seated figure, is characterized by the throne and crown as the Queen of Heaven . The baby Jesus is sitting on her lap. The stone Mother of God in the north wing of the cloister has a similar structure, but shows clear differences in style. The upper body leans towards the child, the folds of the clothes flow more smoothly and the expression is characterized by a slight smile. Its art-historical significance as a work of sculpture in the Saxon region around 1230/40 is expressed in the relationship to the tomb of Heinrich the Lion and Mathilde in the Brunswick Cathedral . The sculpture was originally located on the main altar of the Gothic monastery church.
With the exception of the late Romanesque standing piszine (a kind of bathtub), the furnishings in the chapter room - altarpiece , epitaph and wooden pulpit - date from post-monastic times.
The piszine, made around 1220, probably once stood in the Romanesque church and served as a sink for cleaning the liturgical utensils . The piszine is architecturally designed, the shaft modeled on a bundle pillar. It is used as a baptismal font by the Protestant parish.
The altar retable was donated in 1577 by the last - Protestant - Abbot from Walkenried, Georg Kreite. The middle panel of the winged altar shows the depiction of the Last Supper, which is attributed to Martin Luder from Nordhausen .
The wooden epitaph is dedicated to the last Count of Hohnstein, Ernst VII ; it was donated in 1602 by the second wife of the deceased and shows the count as a full figure in profile in front of a crucifix, kneeling in eternal adoration. The scenery is backed by a three-part mannerist architecture. The artist has not survived, due to stylistic similarities it could be the Hildesheim sculptor Jonas Wulff.
In 2017, the master organ builder Jörg Bente from Bad Nenndorf installed a new organ with 1714 organ pipes in the chapter house . This large organ can now be used for the first time in addition to the church services for the Walkenried cloister concerts and a new series of concerts by the parish .
- Coupling : II / I, I / P, II / P
- Effect register: Zimbelstern, cuckoo, birdsong (nightingale)
Numerous epitaphs, gravestones and memorial plaques are attached to the walls of the cloister, which are presented in chronological order as they can no longer be clearly assigned to their original functional context. Among other things, there are incised gravestones of the knight Werner von Lethgast and Count Dietrich III. von Hohnstein from the late 13th and early 14th centuries. In the Middle Ages, burial on consecrated ground was a privilege for which high endowments were made; In Cistercian monasteries, the burial of lay people was not permitted until 1217 by the general chapter. The no longer existing crypts of the Walkenried cloister originated entirely from the post-monastic period.
Walkenried monastery: part of the UNESCO World Heritage
Since 2010, the Walkenried monastery has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site ore mine Rammelsberg , the old town of Goslar and Upper Harz water management - the most important and largest pre-industrial energy supply system. The technical development of mining in the Upper Harz was a pioneer in Europe .
Already 800 years ago, the water in the Upper Harz was the decisive source of power for the mining and smelting works. In the early 13th century, the Walkenried monks, as important mountain and hut owners, further developed systems for water use that they had acquired and which the Harz miners then expanded over centuries.
According to the world heritage application, the Walkenried Cistercian monks are considered to be the fathers of the Upper Harz water shelf . Your monastery was thus the economic headquarters of the industrial area with pond and ditch system (Pandelbachtal) and the Upper Harz and Rammelsberg mining operations that developed from 1225 near Seesen am Harz ( Münchehof ).
On the Rammelsberg , Walkenried was probably concerned with the implementation of modern water management systems since the second half of the 12th century; the monastery held 25 percent of the mine shares there and the monks, together with the mountain town of Goslar, were the most important mountain lords for two centuries.
Decisive for the inclusion of the almost completely preserved Gothic monastery complex in the UNESCO World Heritage Site was not least the outstanding structural special form of the northern cloister wing, the "double-nave". With an extraordinary artistic ambition and spatial impression, with its rhythm through the round supports, flooded with light and characterized by the unmistakable hall character, it has always been an architectural unique selling point and “trademark” of Walkenried.
Walkenried Monastery Cistercian Museum
While the ruins of the monastery church still document their once mighty dimensions, the largely preserved Gothic enclosure houses the museum, which is sponsored by the UNESCO World Heritage Foundation in the Harz Mountains .
The museum sees itself as a modern monastery museum , in which visitors embark on a journey through time to learn about life and work behind high monastery walls, which is characterized by prayer and work . Acoustic and visual presentations as well as the museum view of the successful and large-scale economic activities of the monks are intended to further increase the fascination of the almost 900 year old place. The museum also wants to be a place of experience for children and families, the museum educational program appeals to all ages. Visitors can be guided with the help of an audio guide and / or take part in a museum tour.
From September to April, after dark, guided tours by candlelight are offered, the atmosphere of which lets one feel the former seclusion and silence of the enclosure, as well as the night of the open door on Easter Sunday and the like. a. with readings and Gregorian chant until midnight.
Since 2008, the museum and other Harz monasteries have organized the Harz Monastery Summer .
With the Sankt Andreasberg observatory , there was a museum night for the first time in the summer of 2019 under the motto great hours .
The Walkenried Monastery offers gastronomy in the Walkenried Monastery Café .
- In 2007 the museum received an award in the nationwide competition Germany - Land of Ideas .
- In 2015 and 2018 the museum received the Children's Holiday State Lower Saxony certificate .
Walkenried cloister concerts
The district of Osterode am Harz and the Förderkreis Kloster Walkenried e. V. have organized the Walkenried cloister concerts in the cloister every year since 1983 , as well as in the Kreuzgarten in summer with a musical and literary program.
In 2015, the owner of the Walkenried Monastery property , the Braunschweigischer Kulturbesitz (SBK) Foundation , took over the sponsorship of the Walkenried cloister concerts from the district of Osterode am Harz.
International monastery market
Around 30 religious orders from all over Germany and neighboring countries take part in the international monastery market , which the museum and other organizers hold every year on the last weekend of September before the Gothic cloister . At the event, which is probably unique in central and northern Germany, monks and nuns offer their monastic products from the kitchen, garden, cellar and workshop.
The monastery market is also a forum for the exchange of ideas about God and the world, about spirituality and social commitment.
World Heritage Information Center
In the mansion next to the monastery, the Lower Saxony Minister of Economics Bernd Althusmann opened the first World Heritage Information Center of the UNESCO World Heritage Foundation in the Harz Mountains on July 22, 2020 . Further World Heritage information centers will be set up in Goslar (2021) and Clausthal-Zellerfeld (2022).
The low-barrier information centers provide an overview of the UNESCO World Heritage in the Harz Mountains and form the prelude to the original sites in the World Heritage. At the respective locations, they primarily act as “spotlights” for the locations in the immediate vicinity and convey their special features. The importance of UNESCO world heritage sites for the entire world community is also presented.
The heart of every World Heritage information center is a 3D landscape model with video projection, which illustrates the process of change in the 3,000-year-old cultural landscape in the western Harz. Humans - nature - technology are brought into a temporal and contextual context. The exhibitions can be visited free of charge.
Walkenried Monastery Support Group
In 1973 the Förderkreis Kloster Walkenried e. V. founded. The members promote efforts to preserve the monument and hold cultural events and exhibitions in the monastery, such as the year-round museum.
It unites young singers from all over Germany. The participants are students of musical and other courses. Several concert programs are performed annually with changing chamber music ensembles, a cappella or with instrumental accompaniment , with organ and trumpet . The repertoire of the Walkenried Consort includes sacred and secular songs from different centuries in German , English and Latin .
Every year the ensemble gives a big concert in the chapter hall or cloister of the Walkenried monastery, in 2018 for the first time with the accompaniment of the new Bente organ and in 2019 together with a children's choir .
According to legend, the Walkenrieder people of God created 365 ponds, one for each day of the year. This is doubted; there are actually around 50 ponds, of which only a part has survived. In the immediate vicinity of the monastery, the monks created a system of 16 fish ponds, because fish was the monastery main course and also an important commercial product. This created a cultural landscape created by the monks , some of which has been preserved to this day.
The historic ponds, with their dams, drains and ditches, are a technical monument of the Middle Ages . Today they present themselves as an impressive recreational landscape. As early as 1950 the ponds were designated as a nature reserve Priorteich-Sachsenstein area.
The park-like and water-rich landscape of the monastery grounds is home to a variety of flora , fauna and funga . Rare marsh plants and some remarkable species of large mushrooms have been identified.
In November 2019, scenes for the fifth part of the ARD crime series Harter Brocken were filmed in Walkenried Monastery . A few years ago , settings in Walkenried were recorded for the series adaptations Alone Against Time - The Film .
- Karl Volckmar: The history of the Walkenried monastery school . Büchting, Nordhausen 1857 ( e-copy ) ( review ).
- Bernd Nicolai : Libido aedificandi. Walkenried and the monumental church architecture of the Cistercians around 1200 . Ed .: Braunschweigischer Geschichtsverein (= sources and research on Braunschweig history . No. 28 ). Braunschweig 1990.
- Cord Alphei: Walkenried . In: Ulrich Faust (Ed.): The male and female monasteries of the Cistercians in Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg (= Germania Benedictina ). tape XII . St. Ottilien 1994, ISBN 3-88096-612-5 , p. 678-742 .
- Christoph Bartels : The Cistercians in the mining industry in the Middle Ages and the importance of their monasteries for mining and metallurgy in the Harz region . In: Esther-Pia Wipfler, Rose-Marie Knape (Ed.): Pray and work! Cistercians in the county of Mansfeld . Halle 1998, ISBN 3-932863-07-0 , p. 99–117 (volume accompanying the exhibition).
- Friedrich and Walther Reinboth : Walkenried time table . Outline of the local and monastery history. 4th edition. Walkenried 1999 (compiled from documented and literary sources).
- Josef Dolle (. Ed) by preparatory work by Walter Baumann: Urkundenbuch of the convent Walkenried Volume 1: . From the beginnings to 1300. In: Braunschweigischer Geschichtsverein (Hrsg.): Sources and research on the Braunschweigische Landesgeschichte Volume 38 (= publications of the historical commission for Lower Saxony and Bremen ). tape 210 . Hahnsche Buchhandlung, Hannover 2002, ISBN 3-7752-6010-2 .
- Nicolaus Heutger : Walkenried Monastery . History and present. Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-86732-018-4 .
- Konrad Maier, Maria Keibel-Maier: Walkenried Monastery. The architecture of the Cistercians . New edition. Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-422-02068-9 .
- Josef Dolle (arrangement) based on preliminary work by Walter Baumann: Document book of the Walkenried monastery, Volume 2 . From 1301 to 1500. In: Braunschweigischer Geschichtsverein (Hrsg.): Sources and research on the Braunschweigische Landesgeschichte Volume 45 (= publications of the historical commission for Lower Saxony and Bremen ). tape 241 . Hahnsche Buchhandlung, Hannover 2008, ISBN 978-3-7752-6041-1 .
- Brigitte Moritz, Ortrud Krause and Günter Jentsch: Guide to the Cistercian Museum, Walkenried Monastery . Ed .: Reinhard Roseneck for the district of Osterode am Harz. Osterode am Harz 2010, ISBN 978-3-00-030609-9 .
- Fritz Reinboth: Burials and grave monuments in the Walkenried monastery . Ed .: Association for local history Walkenried / Bad Sachsa and the surrounding area. Papierflieger Verlag, Clausthal-Zellerfeld 2012, ISBN 978-3-86948-229-3 .
- Barbara Klössel-Luckhardt: Medieval seals from the Walkenried document fund until the end of the monastery period (around 1578). Corpus sigillorum from the holdings of the Wolfenbüttel State Archives . Volume 2 (= publications of the Historical Commission for Lower Saxony and Bremen. Volume 288 ). Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2017, ISBN 978-3-8353-1963-9 .
- Simone Knodel: Adelheid von Lare . Historical novel about the founder of the Walkenried monastery, amicus-Verlag 2004, ISBN 978-3-9356-6031-0
- Ludwig Bechstein : German book of legends . Complete new edition: Ed. Karl-Maria Guth, Berlin 2016, 2nd edition, pages 300–302, ISBN 978-3-8430-6967-0
- Literature by and about Walkenried Monastery in the catalog of the German National Library
- Description of Walkenried Monastery on the Lower Saxony monastery map of the Institute for Historical Research
- UNESCO World Heritage in the Harz Mountains
- Walkenried Monastery Cistercian Museum
- Walkenried Monastery Support Group
- The Walkenried and Neuwerk monasteries in mining history
- Harz Monastery Summer
- Upper Harz Water Management is a World Heritage Site German UNESCO Commission e. V. August 2010, accessed November 5, 2015.
- German UNESCO Commission: UNESCO World Heritage Site Rammelsberg Mine, Old Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management
- Harz Kurier , edition of December 11, 2018.
- World Heritage Information Centers , accessed on July 22, 2020.
- Johann Christoph Stübner: Geographical, natural history and excellent mineralogical description of the Harz Mountains . Along with a representation of the mining and metallurgy on the resin. Part 1. Sommersche Buchhandlung, Leipzig 1800, Section 8, Section IV, Vom Kloster Walkenried / Administratoren, p. 528 ( books.google.de ).
- Oskar Doering: Nordhausen , in: Deutsche Kunstführer Vol. 30, Filser Verlag, Augsburg, p. 68
- Ev.-luth. Parish Walkenried St. Maria and Martini
- Information on the organ , accessed on September 13, 2018.
- HarzKurier of May 31, 2017: A new queen rules in the chapter house of the monastery , accessed on September 13, 2018.
- Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, Lower Saxony State Office for the Preservation of Monuments: Application for the entry of the Upper Harz water management in the UNESCO World Heritage List , Hanover / Braunschweig 2008, page 7
- Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, Lower Saxony State Office for Monument Preservation: Application for the entry of Upper Harz water management in the UNESCO World Heritage List , Hanover / Braunschweig 2008, page 41ff
- Rammelsberg mine, old town of Goslar and Upper Harz water management at www.unesco.de
- Christoph Bartels : The Cistercians in the mining industry in the Middle Ages and the importance of their monasteries for mining and metallurgy in the Harz region . In: Esther-Pia Wipfler, Rose-Marie Knape (Ed.): Pray and work! Cistercians in the county of Mansfeld. Halle 1998, ISBN 3-932863-07-0 , p. 99–117 (volume accompanying the exhibition).
- UNESCO World Heritage Walkenried Monastery
- Cistercian Museum Walkenried under the new sponsorship of Göttinger Tageblatt , edition of December 11, 2018.
- Harz Monastery Summer
- Andreas Arens: “Sternstunden” in Walkenried Monastery: Museum night with telescopes, lectures and exhibitions. HNA.de from August 8, 2019, accessed on June 11, 2020
- KlosterCafé Walkenried with coffee garden.
- KinderFerienLand - Discover & Experience
- Harz Kurier , issue of May 14, 2018.
- Walkenried Monastery - cloister concerts
- The district of Osterode am Harz merged on November 1, 2016 with the then district of Göttingen to form the new district of Göttingen with Göttingen as the district town.
- Walkenried monastery market
- Minister Althusmann opens first World Heritage information center in the Harz Harz Kurier , issue of July 22, 2020.
- History of the Walkenried Monastery Support Group
- Walkenried Consort profile page on: Verband Deutscher KonzertChöre eV
- Walkenried Consort on: facebook
- Lower Saxony State Forests, Egg-headed swamp rush grows on the Walkenrieder Klosterteiche, press release from July 2, 2014 ( Memento from December 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
- Alfred Adomat: Large mushrooms in the monastery grounds Walkenried. Der Tintling 80, issue 1/2013, pp. 6–11
- Harz Kurier , issue of November 16, 2019.