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The beautiful Ettal Abbey, nestled in the little village of Ettal in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps, is close to to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberammergau. As the abbey is still an active monastery and school, most of it is not open to the public. But it is worth stopping while you are in the area to view the exterior from an impressive approach, and to step inside the beautiful church sanctuary.
The Ettal Abbey was founded in 1330 by Benedictine monks. The original structure was a modest affair, and was rebuilt due to damage during the Reformation. When that structure was destroyed by fire in 1744, the impressive complex that exists today was constructed in the Baroque style. Beautiful frescos adorn the ceilings and walls, and marvelous altars and chancel await the visitor to Ettal Abbey.
Beer lovers will find another reason to visit the village of Ettal - the Ettaler Klosterbiere (Ettal Brewery). In the 16th century, Benedictine monks carefully brewed beer using locally-grown malt and hops, and clear, pure water from the Bavian Alps. Though the beer production was held by secular hands for centuries, in 1900 the brewery was returned to the Benedictine order. Ettaler beer is quite popular and is available for purchase in the village.
Visit the Ettal Abbey official website, and click on the English flag. Information is available about the abbey - including its history, architects, and pictures; the Ettal Brewery; and the monestary hotel - the Hotel Ludwig der Bayer.
For information about the village of Ettal such as directions, accomodations, and restaurants, type "ettal.de" into Google and take the translate option for the official Ettal website. The website also contains a lot of information about hiking and cycling paths, golf courses, and other summer and winter activities
Though not on the Romantic Road per se, the area of Southern Bavaria near the Ettal Abbey contain the German Alps, its foothills, and several lakes. It is beautiful country with plenty of opportunites for those who wish to see the area by car, bicycle, or on foot. There are several towns of interest for tourists.
Near the abbey is the town of Oberammergau - famous for its passion play, prettified town, and local arts and crafts. For information about Oberammergau, key in "oberammergau.de" in Google. Find the website with the URL "www.ammergauer-alpen.de/de/oberammergau" and take the translate option. Click on the Tourism & Leisure tab. The passion play is held every 10th year on the decade.
Another town of interest is Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It is a charming town with several churches and museums, and a variety of wellness and health spas. For more information, visit the Garmisch-Partenkirchen official website and take the English option in the lower left corner.