A historically significant abbey in scenic surroundings

Hirsau Monastery

Monastery museum at Hirsau Monastery. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele
HISTORY UP CLOSE

THE MONASTERY MUSEUM

The building where Hirsau's history began now displays interesting facts about its evolution. In particular, the striking ruins of the St. Aurelius and St. Peter and Paul monasteries are brought to life here.

Model of Hirsau Monastery prior to its destruction in 1692, in the monastery museum. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

The monastery, conclave and hunting lodge prior to 1692.

ANNIVERSARY PROMPTS MUSEUM FOUNDING

The Hirsau monastery museum was established in 1991 in cooperation with the town of Calw and the Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe, on the occasion of the 900-year anniversary of the dedication of the Church of St. Peter and Paul. The museum highlights the history of the monastery that was destroyed in 1692 during the Nine Years' War. The museum building itself was once part of the medieval monastery.

Church of St. Aurelius and monastery museum at Hirsau Monastery. Image: Calw Tourist Information

Neighbors: the Church of St. Aurelius and the museum.

ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY OF THE MUSEUM BUILDING

Some of the museum building's walls date back to the Romanesque period. Originally, this structure was an annex to the north transept of the Church of St. Aurelius. Archaeological studies show that the building that now houses the museum once had a semicircular boundary forward of center, uncovered during comprehensive renovations between 1988 and 1990. The building is mentioned in 1580 as the seat of the ducal verderer, and was rebuilt several times thereafter.

Gable of the monastery museum at Hirsau Monastery. Image: Calw Tourist Information

Monastery museum gable.

NEW DUCAL STRUCTURE

The building was rebuilt in 1634, and that structure still informs the building's appearance today. The gray half-timber and the inscription spanning two window lintels on the ground floor of the northeast wall are from that period. Because the 1692 attack by French troops during the Nine Years' War was concentrated on the western side of the Nagold river, the verderer's house as well as all other buildings near the former Aurelius Monastery remained intact.

Interior of the monastery museum at Hirsau Monastery. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Andrea Rachele

The museum contains countless treasures.

FROM THE PAGES OF HIRSAU'S HISTORY

The monastery museum allows visitors to experience the spiritual and physical culture of both of Hirsau's monasteries. Text, images and models illustrate the architectural history of both monasteries. The former splendor and richness of their furnishings are illustrated by a variety of archaeological finds. A fragmented panel depicting the founding of the Aurelius Monastery from circa 1480 is a particular treasure. The museum also tells the story of the town of Hirsau.

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