Monasteries | Mariawald
D-52396 Heimbach ~ Germany
Tel. +49 (0)2 44 69 50 60 ~ Fax +49 (0)2 44 69 50 630
In the south of the district of Düren near Aachen (Germany), Mariawald Abbey rises to a height of 417 m between the deep valleys of the Urft and the Rur on the Kermeter above the town of Heimbach.
The abbey owes its genesis to the fact that this spot became a place of pilgrimage to honour the mother of God, who has been worshipped here since 1475.
The monastery was founded in 1480 by the Cistercians from Bottenbroich (near Bergheim) and was officially inaugurated on 4 April 1486.
For three hundred years the monks looked after the pilgrims that had travelled long distances, until the monastery was abandoned in 1795 during the French Revolution. It was not until 1860 that the Cistercians of the Strict Observance from Oelenberg Abbey (in the Alsace) acquired and renovated the medieval monastery. In 1875 the monks were displaced again, this time as a result of the Kulturkampf ("culture struggle") in Prussia, but the Gothic minster church was re-inaugurated in 1891. The General Chapter of the Order made Mariawald an abbey in 1909. The monks were driven away once more during the Third Reich and the monastery was dispossessed in 1942. The monks were able to return to and start rebuilding the monastery - which had been largely destroyed - in April 1945.