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Thuringia, Germany Tourism
A visit to the Protestant Augustinian Monastery
(Augustinerkloster) in Erfurt,
Thuringia, Germany, Travel Guide
April to October - Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 12 am and 2:00 to 5:00 pm
November to March from daily - Monday to Saturday 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm
Sundays and German holidays after the service beginning at 11:00 am
and at 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm
December 24 at 10:00 am and 11:00 am
December 25/26 and January 31 at 11:00 am
January 1 at 11:00 am
We recommend to use e-mail or fax if you do not speak German
We know that we must add many more information about Erfurt and other famous cities from Thuringia to our travel guide
to promote tourism. Time and money restrict our activities.
Mr. Enders who operates since many years a coffee shop in Erfurt was always very helpful to point things out to us. One
of the recommendations was the "Augustinerkloster" or the Protestant Augustinian Monastery which dates back to
the year 1277 when the Augustinian Eremiten settled here.
Today, no monks are living there any longer. The last died in 1556 and in 1559 the monastery was secularized by the
city of Erfurt. Today it is a according to the Lutheran principles a place to meet and to pray.
Not having a navigation system in our little rental car we got lost and were driving in circles.
Please get a free full size map of Erfurt at the tourist information.
Our small section may also help then to locate the abbey.
Parking is close by. Please do not forget to put enough money in the park meter. Please calculate at least three hours
if you participate only in the fast German tour and if you want to have some spare time on top of it
After having been there I recommend that you search for a long term parking if you do not want to rush through this former monastery and have sufficient time to familiarize yourself about the history.
Martin Luther lived here for several years as monk and certainly you can learn more about his work here.
Our web site should not replace an actual visit!
The cafeteria offers baked goods. You can select between sitting inside or outside.
Naturally, we did not have any idea what we had to expect and we arrived at a time were just one guided tour had left.
So we had to wait in the cafeteria which is operated by sisters who belong to the "Communität Casteller Ring".
They live and work in the Augustinerkloster and invite you to pray with them. The place offers even accommodation in 51 guest rooms without TV, radio or phone, but with shower and toilet for very reasonable prices. Breakfast is included! Also lunch and dinner are provided.
Eventually we will stay there sometime because than we have direct access to almost everything and can hopefully learn more by talking to certain people and listen to one of the concerts which normally take place on Saturdays at 10:00 pm in the cloister.
Please note: normally you should not even talk there!
We were very pleased to see so much interest in this place on a week day and - as everybody else did - we picked up
some information. One leaflet was even in English.
Time was passing fast and we were surprised when the previous group with their guide already returned.
We joined the already assembled visitors and the tour began without any delay.
Not a single word in English and Elizabeth got lost and looked at the beautiful architecture, the flowers and the plants as long as we were outside.
As in almost all cities items of high cultural or historical value were stored away during the war or sometimes if this was not easy a little bunker was built to protect them.
Buildings however could not be protected and on February 25, 1945 a huge bomb destroyed the Gothic library which people used as a bomb shelter.
The main entrance
It became a death trap for 267 of them. Also other buildings were flattened or damaged.
A non profit organization has been established who wants not only maintain the "Augustinerkloster" - they also want rebuilt all the destroyed structures.
Destroyed during WWII
On our tour
The Renaissance Court seems to be a great place to relax or meditate. Unfortunately our tour guide was pushing us too fast through all that and not everybody had a chance to ask questions.
I believe it is a good advise to stay over night here instead in an hotel if you want to see and understand everything. About 800 years of history can not be covered in one hour!
View on the cloister and the "Kreuzhof". Signs ask the visitors to remain quiet and not to talk in this area. It was used by the monks for meditation, studying and also processions. By asking for quietness I was a little bit surprised that the cloister is used for concerts.
In medieval times the "Kreuzhof" was used as a burial ground for the members of the convent.
The "Kreuzhof" seen from the cloister
As you could see, Martin Luther lived several years here as a monk. It is worth to stay some time in the exhibition which is dedicated to that. You can learn how the monks spend their days. But you must see all that by yourself - we do not want to replace a visit!
A writing desk
Fortunately, many information are also posted in the English language.
For me it was of special interest to learn a little bit about the Augustinian Eremite's and the beginning of the median order. This started in the 12th century when believers wanted to follow the life style of Jesus in his poverty. As I already said the one hour tour is just suitable to give you a rough overview. If you are seriously interested you should spend more time.
There is so much to see, to read and to ask if you go through all the displays and artifacts. You find information about the Jewish Torah, the old testament. written words by Martin Luther and much, much more.
The "Augustinerkirche" is used for communions and for numerous events, such as concerts with Christian music, theater, readings etc.
Please use the Internet for the most actual information - we can not provide this service.
The tour guide provided so many interesting information in the church that I had no chance to leave and to walk through it to take more pictures.
The church had been badly damaged during the last bomb raid but the renovation was successfully done in the hard time between 1946 and 1957 under the GDR system.
Try to figure out what Martin Luther said below.
We hope that the renovations are proceeding and that The "Augustinerkloster" will attract many foreign visitors as a Christian meeting place.
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