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Niederaltaich Abbey

Germany, Niederaltaich, Deggendorf County, Bavaria

Niederaltaich Abbey

per person

Bordered by the foothills of the Bavarian Forest and the banks of the Danube, the historic abbey of the municipality of Niederaltaich is already an attractive destination due to its natural surroundings alone. The Benedictine monastery of Niederaltaich, founded in 731 or 741 by Duke Odilo of Bavaria and settled by monks from the island monastery of Reichenau on Lake Constance, is the starting point for the development of today’s village. On a hill in the then uninhabited part of the estuary of the Isar River, the monastery was consecrated to St. Mauritius and the first abbot Eberswind called the place Altaha (Altwasser).


At the beginning of the 10th century, the monastery was still destroyed several times by invasions of Hungarians and Czechs, which is why nothing can be seen of the very original buildings. Moreover, the monastery complex and basilica were baroqueized during the reign of Abbot Joscio Hamberger (1700 – 1739), as can still be seen today. The celebration of the Byzantine rite is held in a chapel established in 1955 and in 1986 the former brewery of the monastery was transformed into a large and small Byzantine church. The remaining baroque parts of the building had already been connected in 1953/54 with a wing, which was later renovated again and today houses the St. Pirmin conference center and guesthouse.

The masonry of the church clearly indicates that it was formerly built as an early Gothic and hall-shaped pilgrimage church. The construction was completed in 1207, but that of the nave only around 1306: the tympanum on the outside of the northern tower, which connects the church and the former cloister, is particularly spectacular. The tower buildings, begun in the Renaissance, are 72 meters high, and on the south side of the southern tower, a cosmic horoscope mounted on a memorial stone commemorates the beginning of construction.

In 1720 the interior of the church was baroqueized. This period was also marked by a fusion of the old and new architectural styles. A semicircle for the sacristy was added behind the high altar by the great master builder of the Baroque Johann Michael Fischer, as well as an «upper church» above it for the monks. When visitors enter the church, the first thing that catches their eye is the painting Landhut, centrally located above the high altar, which was made by Franz Geiger in 1675 and depicts the church patron St. Mauritius with his companions. Above the altar paintings are glass shrines containing relics that were decorated with shiny stones in the early days of the Roman catacombs and were transferred in the Baroque period. An opening above the altars and arches set off the frescoes of celestial figures in the upper church. Approximately in the center of the right aisle is a figure of Sant (Pieta), which can be dated to about 1480. The fresco above it is a rare representation of the Holy Mary. Like the more than 200 other frescoes, it was created by the Austrian artist Wolfgang Andreas Heindl.

After the monastery was refurbished in 1818 and the parish was revived, the venerable sanctuary received the distinction of «Basilica minor» from the Pope in 1932 to mark its newfound importance. This was followed by another complete restoration of the basilica in 1989.



Información de la localidad

Niederaltaich Abbey
Other monuments and places to visitIn Niederaltaich you can visit the Hofrichterhaus of the Hofmark, which was built between 1705 and 1709
Natural HeritageDanube
Historical Recreations
Festivals of Tourist InterestSince 2002, the Bund Naturschutz and around 20 other environmental, animal and nature protection associations have traditionally held the big Danube Festival in Niederalteich on Father's Day
FairsIn the monastery there is always the possibility to participate in the monastic services (Mass or Liturgy of the Hours) in german language, both in the Roman and Byzantine rites. The chapel and the meditation room of St. Anthony in St. Pirim are always open for guests
Tourist OfficeYes
Specialized GuidesYes
Guided visitsYes
AccommodationsGäste- und Tagungshaus St. Pirmin of the Abbey Niederaltaich, 94557 Niederalteich, Deutschland
RestaurantsThere is the Klosterhof Restaurant, open from 11 am to 8 pm (except Monday)
CraftThere is the Danube Ferry - Altaha which tends to run between April and October.
Website niederalteich.de (german language)
niederalteich.de (Info PDF)
Monument or place to visitNiederaltaich Abbey (Baroque Basilica and Byzantine Church)
StyleEarly-gothic, Renaissance and Baroque style
TypeOld and new styles of architecture were harmoniously combined
Epoch13th, 18th centuries and later
State of conservationGood condition
Mailing addressBenediktinerabtei St. Mauritius, Mauritiushof 1, 94557 Niederalteich
Coordinates GPS48°45′56″N 13°01′27″O
Property, dependency
Possibility of visits by the general public or only specialists
General public visits
Conservation needs
Visiting hours and conditions
Visits must be registered through the website, where various offers are listed. The tours (by prior arrangement) take between 40 and 70 minutes for the Baroque Basilica, and between 30 and 60 minutes for the Byzantine Church. After 17 pm the reception desk for the accommodation is no longer open since the monastics must attend to prayer schedule and other community events.
Ticket amount
Basilica with sacristy and upper church 5 €, Byzantine Church 4 €, both churches 8€, further Information and prices for accommodation on the website.
Research work in progress
AccessibilityGood, there is ample parking space at the Abbey
Signaling if it is registered on the route
Stadtmüller, Georg: Geschichte der Abtei Niederaltaich 741 - 1971. Ottobeuren 1971.
Drost, Ludger; Hauck, Johannes OSB: Abtei Niederaltaich. Benediktinisch – Bayerisch – Byzantinisch. Mit Fotografien von Dionys Asenkerschbaumer, Regensburg 22022.
Deutinger, Stephan; Deutinger, Roman (Hg.): Die Abtei Niederaltaich. Geschichte, Kultur und Spiritualität von der Gründung bis zur Säkularisation. Sankt Ottilien 2013.
Information websitesabtei-niederaltaich.de
niederalteich.de (Info PDF)

LocationNiederaltaich, Deggendorf County, Bavaria, Germany