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Baroque gem and Götz von Berlichingen's burial place

Schöntal Monastery

Detail of a portrait of Abbot Knittel. Image: Foto Besserer
An impressive life’s work

Benedikt Knittel

Benedikt Knittel (1650–1732) was abbot for a proud 49 years. During his term, the monastery was redesigned in the Baroque style. All the verses that are found everywhere in the monastery are also part of this multifaceted abbot’s life's work.

Exterior of the double-towered Baroque church, Schöntal Monastery. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Sven Grenzemann

Knittel brought Baroque style to Schöntal.

What marks did Abbot Knittel leave on Schöntal?

At the young age of eleven, Johannes Knittel took his vows in Schöntal and was given his religious name, Benedikt. On July 6, 1683, he was selected as the Abbot of Schöntal. His term lasted exactly 49 years and left a lasting mark on Schöntal Monastery. Knittel was responsible for building the Baroque monastery church, the completion of which he did not live to see. The construction of the Holy Sepulcher Chapel on the Kreuzberg can also be traced back to him.

What were Benedikt Knittel's merits?

Abbot Knittel was responsible for the monastery's economic boom, thus preserving its political autonomy; the monastery was self-governing under the emperor. Nor did he give in to powerful opponents, such as the Würzburg Abbey, in legal disputes. He expanded the monastery buildings palatially, thus demonstrating the power of his monastery. Furthermore, the abbot wrote the famous “Knittel verses,” which are still found everywhere in the monastery today.

Detail of the entrance to Schöntal's monastery church with a Knittel verse. Image: Schöntal Monastery Educational Center

Knittel's verses are everywhere in the monastery.

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