About the Banz Monastery

The Story of Banz Monastery According to legend, Countess Alberada founded the heavilyfortified
Banz Castle around 1070, in order to establish a Benedictine monastery after her husband, Count Hermann von Vohburg, was killed in a tournament.

In 1505, Banz was burned to the ground, rebuilt and then once again destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War. The altars were demolished and the bells, the organ and the contents of the library were all stolen. It was not until the Counter-Reformation that the Benedictine abbey once again flourished as a spiritual and cultural centre, reaching the height of its powers under Abbot Otto de la Bourde. The monastery was subsequently rebuilt by Leonhard and Johann Dientzenhofer and Balthasar Neumann, and the church was consecrated in 1719. The interior decoration was carried out by the Vogel brothers and the Baroque artist, Sebastian Reinhard.

During the Enlightenment, the monastery became known as a major centre of scholarship in the humanities and natural science. This golden age of monastic life then began to decline with the increasing onset of secularism.

In 1814, Duke Wilhelm in Bavaria acquired the monastery and used it as his summer residence. Banz played host to many prominent guests, such as the Russian Tsarina, the Kings of Bavaria and Prussia and eminent scholars and artists such as Viktor von Scheffel, who penned his well-known song “Wohlauf, die Luft geht frisch und rein” while staying at the castle in 1859. After the First World War, Duke Wilhelm leased the property to a community of Trappists and Banz Castle once again became a monastery. In 1933, the Community of the Holy Angels bought the monastery, and during the Second
World War Banz was turned into a military hospital. After the order moved out in 1964, a large part of the building was used to house a Caritas retirement home. In 1979, the Hanns Seidel Foundation bought the former abbey, which was in a state of some disrepair, and carried out extensive renovation works.

On 22nd April 1983, Banz Monastery opened its doors as a centre for adult political education.