The majestic dome of the Ettal basilica, the heart of Ettal Abbey, against the backdrop of the rugged cliffs of the Alps rising from the alpine forest in the background. Ettal Abbey has been the cultural hub of the Ammergau Alps since it was founded by Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian in the year 1330. The impressive dome has made the abbey well known far beyond the region. The peaks of the majestic alpine world of the Ammergau Alps, the largest uninterrupted nature reserve in southern Germany, frame the picture-perfect abbey with its magnificent church.
Kloster Ettal is well known far beyond the region for its impressive baroque basilica. Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian founded the Benedictine monastery in 1330 to fulfill his pledge after returning safely to Bavaria. The monastery was used as a knights' academy in the 18th century and was one of the most important schools of higher learning at that time.
After a major fire in 1744 that destroyed both the church and the monastery, the monastery was redesigned in the form that it is still in today. The central section with a 12-corner layout, extraordinary stucco decorations, and a frescoed ceiling is very impressive. Till today, the stuccoed and painted sacristy is considered the most beautiful rococo sacristy in southern Germany, an unparalleled artistic jewel that was stuccoed by J.B. Zimmermann in 1725 and painted by J.J. Zeiller in 1747.
The abbey brewery, as well as the distillery where the well-known Ettal Abbey's liquors are produced, form the economic foundation for the abbey in which the Benedictine monks live and work in accordance with the rules of their order.
Production of beer, the so-called liquid bread of Bavaria, can look back upon a 400 year-old uninterrupted tradition in Ettal. While the Ettaler Klosterbier (Ettal Abbey beer) was originally only brewed for consumption by the monks and pilgrims, today it enjoys immense popularity both in Germany and abroad. During a tour of the brewery and the brewery museum covering 500 m2 (5382 ft2), visitors experience an exciting journey through beer brewing history.
Even the production of the Klosterliqueure (abbey liquors) enjoys a long tradition. As early as the Medieval Ages, the monks of Ettal already searched for healing plants or grew diverse herbs in their own gardens. The expert hands of the abbey pharmacists created mysterious mixtures from these that are still used today. Just like the olden days, the distiller monk still prepares the legendary and world-renowned Ettal Abbey liquors from more than 50 carefully selected herbs. Today still, the formulas are a strictly kept secret, but the distiller monk lets visitors peek into the secrets of the world of herbs during a tour of the drug chamber, the mezeration, and the distillation room.
After the tour, the Klosterbräustüberl, the cozy brewery restaurant in the "Ludwig der Bayer" abbey hotel, invites the visitors to partake of the Ettal specialties with all their senses.
More information on Kloster Ettal.