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Benedictine Monastery Church St. Vitus - Drübeck


The Benedictine monastery of St Vitius was first mentioned in the records in 960 as a donation by Otto I. The cloister church has been preserved in its original form, except for the northern side aisle. The two-towered western side with apse was built between 1140 and 1165.


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    History

    • The beginnings of the Benedictine Convent Drübeck remain obscure. A certificate of immunity, dated 26 January 877 and signed by King Ludwig III, is regarded as the founding document, yet was written in the 12th century. According to this, the convent was founded by a Countess Adelbrin - the first abbess - and her brothers, Theti and Wiker. The first verifiable report is from 960, when Emperor Otto I presented gifts to the "Drubechi monasterium". 995 saw its confirmation as a royal endowment for ladies of rank, and in 1004, in a document of Henry II, a "newly built convent" is mentioned. In 1058 Drübeck became a part of the Halberstadt diocese, whose Bishop Reinhard imposed a reform according to the Benedictine order between 1108 and 1110. In 1135, when the convent Königslutter (in Niedersachsen) was changed into a monastery, the nuns from there settled here. The following period was marked by an economic flourishing.
      In the 12th century the counts of Wernigerode already exercised the landvogt rights of the monastery. They were followed in 1429 by the counts of Stolberg-Wernigerode, who carried through the Reformation in 1538/41 and changed the monastery into a Protestant endowment for ladies of rank, which it remained until 1945. Since 1687 the endowment and its property belonged to the family. From the 18th to the 20th century the congregation usually included only five canonesses and the abbess.
      After 1947 the former convent served as a Protestant rest home. Today it is used as a Protestant centre with theological college and pedagogical and technical institute of the Protestant church of the Saxon church province.
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    Architecture and Furniture

    • Architecture
      The church of the Benedictine convent St. Vitus Drübeck is one of the most important Romanesque buildings on the northern edge of the Harz Mountains. Despite sub-stantial changes since the 16th century, a considerable portion of the rubblestone walls from the high Middle Ages have been preserved.
      The appearance of the original construction, however, remains unknown. Of the Ottonian church from the time around 1000 the walls of the central nave with simple rhythmic alteration of pillars and columns with covered arches remain. Renovations likely took place in the later 11th century: a new east section with crossing and transept as well as a staggered chancel annex with three apses and a multisectional crypt were added to the existing basilica. Around 1135/70 the noble two-towered west front with the west apse was built. The front, having taken influences from the Goslar Cathedral, is of a Lower-Saxon type. The formerly flat roof of the nave was then raised and vaulted. The older capitals were redecorated with exceptional moldings.

      The size of the church was reduced after a fire in 1599, the north aisle, the north transept and the chancel side rooms having been destroyed. Later, the domed roof of the nave caved in. In the 19th century the south aisle was demolished, yet from 1867 to 1883 a complete renovation of the building was undertaken. A restoration from 1953 to 1956, with the rebuilding of the south aisle, partially recreated the original Romanesque construction. The remains of a cloister wing with two aisles on the south side of the church were also uncovered. The last renovation work was carried out in 1991/92. The convent buildings of the Middle Ages were not preserved. The so-called ladies foundation originates from 1720/32.
      Decoration and furnishings
      Of the architectural decoration from the Ottonian period the quite exceptional capitals in the nave remain. Although largely detached, important remains from the renovations of the moldings in the 12th century have survived: sculptural masterpieces with arabesques and figural depictions. The capitals and bases of the formerly five-winged crypt also have molded decorations.
      The Romanesque furnishings which have been preserved are the limestone font from the late 12th century and the fragment of a formerly full-figured slab relief, thought to be the gravestone of the first abbess Adelbrin, who was worshipped as a saint.
      From the Gothic period there are a linen and silk embroidery with biblical scenes (14th century; kept in the so-called ladies’ foundation) once used as an altar curtain, and the winged altar from the time around 1470/80, which once stood in the village church.
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    Regular guided visits

    • Daily or by arrangement

      December: by arrangement

      November – March: 2 p.m.

      April – October: 2 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

      Contact for guided tours:
      Ev. Centre Monastery Drübeck
      Mrs. Schmidt
      Klostergarten 6
      38871 Drübeck

Object

Klostergarten 6
38871 Drübeck
Deutschland
039452-94300
E-mail
Website

Organization:

Klostergarten 6
38871 Drübeck
Deutschland
039452-94300
E-mail
Website

Tourist Information:

Marktplatz 1
3887 Ilsenburg
Deutschland
039452-19433
E-mail
Website


Monasteries

Opening Hours:

daily, 6.30 a.m. - 7 p.m. 
daily, (except Sunday), 6 p.m

Admission fee:

Adults: € 2,50
reduced rate:  € 1,50 (pupils, students, senior citizens)
children under 6 free of charge


 Benedictine Monastery Church St. Vitus - Drübeck

Benedictine Monastery Church St. Vitus - Drübeck