The instant you arrive in the Swabian town of Ottobeuren you might notice the sense of holiness that surrounds the place.
How amazing that after almost 1,300 years the Monastery Ottobeuren still has that effect.
The monastery itself was built in 764 as an Imperial Abbey; but it has undergone many changes since then. It was originally built in the Middle Ages, and changed to a Baroque design over the course of 29 years from 1737 to 1766.
This major overhaul to the abbey and its basilica of St. Alexander and St. Theodore has earned it a rightful place on the Upper Swabian Baroque Route. Don’t forget to look up as its ceiling frescoes are magnificent. The artists didn’t overlook any detail when they created these, that’s for sure!
In addition to the artwork, there’s an Abbey Museum; and its library is filled with priceless medieval manuscripts.
The pious theme carries over to the Lourdes Grotto, an area with life-sized, cast-iron figures from the Bible and other notable names in Christian history.
One name in history is St. James. Sure, you’ve heard of him, the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela is legendary. Just so you know, the Bavarian part of the Way of St. James runs right though Ottobeuren; appropriate because of the abbey don’t ya think?
Care to know what else runs right through Ottobeuren (although is not part of it, officially)? It’s the Swabian Spa Route, a 180km scenic route that promotes healthy living the Kneipp way. You know you’re on the right track by following the onion dome & water wave signs.
Wow, that’s a lot to take in at one time, right?
There’s still one more place that you need to see; and that’s the observatory. Guided and public tours of this star gazing are available for anyone wishing to look to the heavens.
Again, seem appropriate here in the holy town of Ottobeuren; and I think you’ll agree. :-)