May 24


Andechs Monastery – “Praying and Drinking”

By Frank

May 24, 2020

The monastery was built on the site of Andechs Castle , the ancestral seat of the Counts of Andechs, who died out in a direct line in 1248 . 1455 was here a Benedictine monastery by Duke Albrecht III. founded by Bayern Munich to house an important treasure of relics found here in 1388 . (Parts of the crown of thorns, the mocking scepter , the cross and the cloth of Christ ).

The church, built between 1423 and 1427 and redesigned in rococo style by Johann Baptist Zimmermann from 1751, was built as a pilgrimage church . The "Holy Mountain" Andechs is the second largest place of pilgrimage in Bavaria after Altötting.

The Benedictines have been in charge of the pilgrimage since 1455 . They live according to the rule of Saint Benedict, which is often shortened to “ ora et labora – pray and work ”. Year after year, more than 30,000 organized pilgrims from over 130 pilgrimage communities come to the Holy Mountain. At peak times, the groups walk up to 50 km in one day to get to Andechs.

Aha! Cool ...

Since the opening of the Munich Way of St. James from Munich to Lindau in 2003, many individual pilgrims have also come to Andechs, who - mostly coming from Lake Starnberg - stay one night and continue their pilgrimage towards Dießen the next day.

Andechs Monastery, visible from afar on the Holy Mountain above the eastern shore of Lake Ammer, is the oldest place of pilgrimage in Bavaria and has been an asset of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Bonifaz in Munich since 1850.

The municipality of Andechs is 600 meters above sea level directly on Lake Ammer. That's why it has to be called Andechs am Ammersee .

Andechs Monastery – “Praying and Drinking”

Information board at the parking lot to the "Holy Mountain"


The "Kiwi Day"

The times when up to 1,000 tourists from New Zealand and Australia descended on tranquil Andechs to get in the mood for Oktoberfest are probably over. Nevertheless, every year on the last Thursday before the Oktoberfest , Australians and New Zealanders meet for the so-called "Kiwi Day" in Andechs Monastery, almost 50 kilometers south-west of Munich.

In the beer garden of the monastery brewery , they train their drinking resistance for the upcoming Oktoberfest. The Bavarian beer is stronger and cheaper than the Australian - the training should help to cope better with this fatal combination.

What is there to see?

monastery brewery ...

Today the monastery brewery is the largest of only a few authentic monastery breweries in Germany that are run independently by an existing religious community . It belongs to the Benedictines of St. Bonifaz in Munich & Andechs. It is only brewed and bottled on site in Andechs.

In 1455 the first seven monks from Tegernsee came to Andechs . It was they who brought the beer up the mountain. Without the monastic brewing tradition , the Purity Law would not have been possible. Monasteries have always been cultural centers as well. In the Middle Ages, often only monks could read and write . This is how they passed on their knowledge over the centuries, and this applies above all to the brewing industry .

With Ora et Labora - praying and working - it is no longer enough today, a Benedictine monastery wants to survive. The income from the Holy Mountain finances the life of the monastery and the social and cultural commitment of both houses. To ensure that this has a future, the abbey invested twelve million euros in the expansion of the Andechs monastery brewery.

100,000 hectoliters of beer are brewed and bottled on the Holy Mountain every year, light, special, dark, bock beer, wheat beer with and without alcohol . It should stay that way, hence the million-euro investment. A new hall is being built in which empties can be stored in the future - up to 1,500 pallets with 1.2 million half-litre bottles.

Andechs Monastery – “Praying and Drinking”

Andechs logo

There is also space for a new bottling plant that can process 24,000 bottles an hour . This is the largest single investment for the monastery since the new brewery was built in the 1980s. In addition to the twelve million euros, another 20 million will be used for the general renovation of the monastery building in Sankt Bonifaz, the first comprehensive repair since the reconstruction after 1945.

Benedictines don't think in quarters,

but in centuries...!

Around five percent of the output of the Andechs monastery beer is served on the Holy Mountain in the Andechs Bräustüberl, on the terrace and in the monastery inn , the meeting place for the Bavarian way of life and a meeting place for diverse cultures.

Rest and enjoy...

If you are looking for pleasure for body and soul , we recommend a trip to the "Holy Mountain". With an attached brewery, Bräustüberl, monastery inn and an extensive cultural program, the monastery is now a magnet for around 1 million visitors a year from all over the world .

As already mentioned, there are three culinary places: the traditional Bräustüberl with its large terrace and the wonderful panoramic view of the foothills of the Alps, the monastery inn with upscale Bavarian gastronomy or the beer garden with its shady chestnut trees opposite the monastery inn.

Of course, the delicacies from the monastery butcher's shop go best with a freshly tapped Andechs monastery beer or the Andechs alcohol-free beer, which is served in the brewery parlour. As a special treat there is a tray with a selection of beers . Six of the eight beers are below. In general, there are three light, two dark and three wheat beers.

"The Andechs feeling is that you are never alone, " says Josef Eckl, who is responsible for gastronomy at Andechs. And Eckl is still proud that in the Bräustüberl everyone is traditionally allowed to bring their own snack if they want to.

It's already quiet in Andechs at 9 p.m. You can only hear the clattering of dishes and the scrubbing of a broom. It will be cleaned up. The Bräustüberl closes early. " The monks want to be left alone ".

Praying and drinking...

The Trunk Tradition Praying and drinking cups

is known to be intensively maintained to this day

– a business model that has been working perfectly for over 500 years ….

Andechs Monastery

 Bergstrasse 2,

82346 Andechs

About the author

It is more valuable to experience a place in detail than many small impressions of an incomprehensible whole.

Genius Loci - discovering, capturing and experiencing the spirit of a place. Perceive - understand - enjoy!

As a graduate industrial engineer with an additional MBA degree from a renowned university in England (EMBA, EQUIS and AACSB accredited), I have been showing other, often surprising, paths to success for more than 30 years at C-Level (Head of Marketing and Sales worldwide).

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