The beautiful Ettal Abbey, nestled in the little village of Ettal in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps, is an impressive Baroque structure that is not to be missed when touring Southern Bavaria.
The beautiful dome that adorns the basilica and rises above the countryside, extends 82 feet wide (25 meters).
The village of Ettal, in the Graswang Valley (Graswangtal), is close to two other popular tourist attractions in Southern Bavaria: Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberammergau. (More information about these villages can be found at the bottom of this webpage.)
More than just an active school and monastery, Ettal Abbey also runs a distillery, brewery, cheese factory, bookstore, large hotel, and more!
As Ettal Abbey is a working monastery, most of it is not open to the public. But it is enough just to admire the monastery's impressive exterior while walking up the promenade, and marvel at the beauty of the basilica's interior - which is open year-round. Amazing frescos adorn the ceilings and walls, and marvelous altars and chancel await the visitor to Ettal Abbey.
Ettal Abbey was founded in 1330 by Emperor Ludwig of Bavaria. The original Gothic structure was a modest affair, and was rebuilt due to damage during the Reformation. In the early 18th century, the monastery also acted as a knight academy.
When the abbey was destroyed by fire in 1744, the impressive complex that exists today was constructed in the Baroque style with Rococo elements. The primary fresco artists were the highly-aclaimed Johann Baptist Zimmermann and Johann Georg Üblherr. In 1900, the Ettal Abbey once more became a monastery under Benedictine rule.
Beer lovers will find another reason to visit the village of Ettal - the Ettaler Klosterbiere (Ettal Brewery). A brewery was established at the monastery in 1609 and Benedictine monks carefully brewed beer using locally-grown malt and hops, and clear, pure water from the Bavian Alps.
Beer production has continued, non-stop, at the Ettal Brewery ever since. For over a century the brewery was under secular control, but in 1900 the it was returned to the Benedictine order. Ettaler beer is quite popular and is available for purchase in the village.
To visit the Ettal Abbey website, type "www.abtei.kloster-ettal.de/" into Google, find the website listing, and take the translate option. Click the Monastery link, then the Basilica link, and see the additional menu links. The website also provides service times, and information about the abbey hotel (Hotel Ludwig der Bayer), the Ettal Brewery and Distillery - with links to their websites, and more.
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 site provides information on Ettal Abbey, Linderhof Palace and Park, Gertrude's Chapel Dickelschwaig (chapel built in 1694) and other sights nearby.
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.
For more photos of monastery at Ettal, please see our webpage, Photographs of Ettal Abbey in Southern Bavaria.
If you do plan to visit Germany, please make sure and read our homepage Traveling in Germany before leaving our website for important general information, helpful website links, and traveling tips.