Germany //

Kloster Banz


Facing Vierzehnheiligen across the valley is the former Benedictine monastery of Kloster Banz, built from the same honey-coloured stone on a similarly commanding site high above the valley. It was designed by Leonhard Dientzenhofer to replace the previous abbey, wrecked by Swedish troops during the Thirty Years’ War.

The church was consecrated in 1719, and its interior surprises because it is based on a series of ellipses. Though it’s undoubtedly a fine piece of architecture, Banz doesn’t dazzle the visitor in quite the way Vierzehnheiligen does, but if you’re visiting Vierzehnheiligen with your own transport it’s certainly worth a look. If you can’t join a tour, the church is usually open as far as the grille; there’s also a small museum of fossils and Oriental artefacts close to the abbey entrance, during whose opening hours tours of the abbey’s historic rooms are available.

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