Churches & Abbeys in the Region
Churches and art are closely connected. Beautifully decorated churches with splendid adorned altars and precious ceiling frescoes - the Schwaebische Ostalb has a lot to offer. The following are just a few of the many beautiful churches that you can visit in this region:
The Gallus Church in Sontheim an der Brenz is one of Swabia´s jewels. It is built in late Roman style with its clear architecture and its many pictures. The pillars of the chapel are decorated with animals and leaves. It was built in the 8th century and has been enlarged several times since then. Probably since 895 AD, St. Gallus has been the patron of the church.
The St. Laurentius roman chapel, which is situated on the Burg Katzenstein near Dischingen, is another jewel. Invaluable Frescos dating back to 1250-1280 were found during restoration. The Altar stone has “1410” inscribed on it.
For hundreds of years many pilgrims came to the Marienwallfahrtskirche in Aalen-Unterkochen. The church was built over time with different styles. The steeple is Roman, the choir place is Gothic, and the rest is baroque. In the high altar we find a 1496 masterpiece life size statue of St. Mary from the Ulm School.
In Schwaebisch Gmuend, a traditional station of the cross with roadside shrines, chapels, and life-size figures can be found leading to the St. Salvator chapel. They were built by the church builder Caspar Vogt after 1617. Natural stone caves in the hill were used for the lower and the upper chapel. In the upper chapel we find a relief in the rock that depicts St. Mary’s agony. This is certainly a must-see. The steep way to the St. Salvator leads to a wonderful view over the city in the valley and to the Drei Kaiserberge, the “three imperial mountains”.
Another beautiful baroque church is the Schlosskirche in Abtsgmünd-Hohenstadt with its late Gothic Madonna, which was finished in 1711 by Chr. Jochum in the Austrian style..
A mature work of late romanticism is the Stiftskirche St. Veit in Ellwangen. The huge building is acknowledged as the most important Roman vault basilica in Swabia.
One of the most beautiful baroque buildings in Ellwangen is the Wallfahrtskirche Schönenberg, the work of the two Austrian builders Michael and Christian Thumb. The church with its dome-shaped vault and a gallery was built from 1682 to 1695.
In the baroque Wallfahrtskirche in Stetten ob Lonetal, we find a copy of the black Madonna of Einsiedeln, which is worth a visit.
Do You Look for Silence and Contemplation?
The Ostwuerttemberg Region Offers Diverse Possibilities for spiritual contemplation
The monastery of the Franciscan Nuns in Schwaebisch Gmuend invites you to stay for a while. In the summer of 2000, the monastery was opened as a house that acts as a bridge between God and humanity.
The Monastery Lorch, a former St. Benedict monastery (around 1100), was later the home monastery and the cemetery of the Staufer Dynasty. At the end of their time, Lorch came to Wuerttemberg in 1251. In 2002, the monastery celebrated its 900th anniversary. In the side pews, you can see an exhibition about how the monastery was built, the life in a monastery, the reformation in Lorch, and the discovery of the complex as a monument of the middle ages in the 19th century. A special attraction is the Staufer Panorama of Lorch’s very own Hans Kloss in the chapel, which narrates the whole history of the Staufer Dynasty in a wholly unique way.
The Cistercian monastery Mariae Himmelfahrt (Mary's Assumption) in Kirchheim am Ries is also a gem. The monastery church was built in 1358 in early Gothic style.
The Monastery Neresheim with its baroque church is another worthy sight to see in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The church is the spiritual and architectural center of the monastery and has a national and European cultural importance. Balthasar Neumann designed it and started building it in 1750, and it was finished in 1792.
The illuminated paintings from Martin Knoller and the sound of the baroque organs from Johann Nepomuk Holzhay excite many visitors. The guesthouse of the monastery offers the possibility to retreat from the stress of daily life and relax. Do you want to relax and find new sources of strength? The employees at the Benedictine guesthouse will welcome you whole-heartedly. Here, they offer traditional Benedictine hospitality.
Sieger Köder - Sieger Koeder is teacher, priest and artist. He is a figurehead in the region and has created impressive pictures with most Christian motifs.
Koeder says: The pictures must “speak” to the onlooker.
His wish is to preach through his pictures. Pictures of Koeder can be found in the St. Stephanus church Wasseralfingen, the funeral parlour in Huettlingen, the Burg Niederalfingen, the cemetery chapel in Ebnat, the parish church Mater Dolorosa and the parish hall in Rosenberg, the Jakobushaus and the Jakobus church on the Hohenberg, the Heilig-Geist-Kirche in Ellwangen, the childrens´ village Marienpflege, and in the St. Michaels chapel.