Photo found here.

Andechs Cloister is up on a hilltop just over the ridge from the Ammersee, and one can see it from many directions. It is said to have been a holy place long before the monks arrived, in any case there is a medicinal spring (the Elisabethenquelle), and the remains of Celtic earthworks and a Roman farm nearby. In the middle ages the noble family Andechs-Diessen built a fortress here. One of its more legendary members supposedly brought holy relics from Jerusalem, including the baby Jesus’ foreskin (not kidding). When the family line died out, the House of Wittelsbach took it over, destroyed the fortress and later put in the monastery. The relics helped start (or perhaps restart) the pilgrimages to the hilltop, which continue today, except that most people make that pilgrimage for the beer.

One of the special offerings during last Sunday’s Heritage Day was a guided tour of the Wittelsbacher cemetery, found on the wooded slope. just below the monastery.

Here we have the Bavarian Wittelsbachs of the last century, including, for example, Maria del Pilar von Bayern (1891-1987). Great-niece of the last Bavarian King, she witnessed nearly a century of political changes. She was one of the first women to drive a car, never married, studied painting, and became a well-known figure in the Munich area, sitting at her easel in some park or another.

“Lake scene with wooden dock and boat”

This must also be mentioned: the Andechses were quite a powerful family while they were around; they controlled the Brenner pass over the Alps into Italy, erected the first bridge over the Inn River at a convenient location — and founded Innsbruck.

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3 Responses to Andechs

  1. weltbeobachterin says:

    thanks for this history lesson!
    Have you tasted the beer? It’s the second cloister, I know – which brew some. The another one is Stift Schlägl in Upper Austria. (It’s near, where I come from)

  2. Marcellina says:

    I didn’t — the Biergarten was simply too crowded. But it looks very dark and heavy!

  3. ms f MM says:

    Thank you.

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