The famous Andechs Monastery is located on the Holy Mountain close to Ammersee in the middle of Upper Bavaria’s Five-Lake region. The Monastery itself marks the region in a specific way and can be seen even from far away. It has been a well known destination for pilgrims for more than 500 years now.
Andechs Monastery is also known for its brewery and restaurant and, of course, its cultural offerings such as representational environs of the "Fürstentrakt" and a multi-purpose hall – that is often used as a meeting place for visitors from all around the world. The hall, which has formerly been a hay loft, is named Florian-Stadl and has turned into the regional center for culture and is now the permanent location for the Orff Festival, which is hold annually.
Andechs Monastery operates as a foundation and being a business resource, it provides all necessary financial means for the support and maintenance of Munich St. Bonifaz Abbey on its own efforts.
The monastery is managed by Abbot Dr. Johannes Eckert, who together with the monks follows the motto: "It is our tradition to be progressive, and we can attribute our progress to a great tradition".
The religious history of Andechs Monastery dates back to the 10th century when legendary count Rasso (880-954) brought relics from the Holy Land which later built the basis for its sanctuary treasures.
In 1080 the name "Andehse" was first documentary mentioned. In 1128 the first pilgrimage was arranged by count Berthold II to render homage to the relics kept in Andechs. In 1132 the counts chose Andechs as an ancestral home.
In 1208 the counts of Andechs-Meranien got in suspicion to have been involved in the murder of Philipp II of Swabia and therefore the castle got destroyed. After the death of Otto II in 1248 the noble family of the Andechs counts died out. The remaining possessions were taken over from the Wittelsbacher, and castle Andechs got destroyed again. But at least they managed to bury the remaining relic treasures before.
After the reconstruction of the church and castle by Duke Ludwig in 1270, the relic treasure was only recovered in 1388, brought to Munich and kept in the ducal chapel.
In 1391 the duke decided to found a monastery to assist in pilgrimage but, during the secularization in 1803 the monastery got dissolved. In 1846 King Ludwig I of Bavaria acquired Andechs and donated it in 1850 of the Benedictine's abbey founded by him Saint Bonifaz in Munich.
Proof exists that beer was brewed in Andechs since the Middle Ages and the Benedictine monks continued the brewing tradition for centuries. Therefore a huge seven-storey malt house was built in 1906 followed by the first bottle filling construction in 1950.
In 1972 the convent decided to build a completely new brewery on the foot of the holy mountain. A modern barrel and bottles cellar was put into operation in 1974. The new brew house followed in 1983. In 2006 the enlargement of the fermenting cellar and camp cellar was concluded. In 2007 the whole brewery has been renewed drastically.
Nowadays the Andechs double malt dark beer consisting of 8 % alcohol and 18,5 % original wort is famous in the whole country. Besides this, the brewery also produces full-bodied bright beer, Andechser Spezial, export dark beer, a sort of bright wheat beer and one type of dark wheat beer.
Not only in Bavarian countryside Andechs Monastery Beer is appreciated in all traditional branches of gastronomy but also steadily gaining in popularity in the new beer-orientated food-and-drink scene.
Andechs is well known for its Benedictine tradition of hospitality. Do not miss to visit the monastery without enjoying a relaxed friendly atmosphere that has always been typical for Bavaria. The Andechs restaurant invites visitor to taste typically Bavarian dishes as well as specialties made by the "Andechs product family".
Things to do in and around Andechs
- Guided tour
"History of the Counts of Andechs" shows the history of Andechs’ Benedictine Monastery; Monastery Church; Holy Chapel with treasure of holy relics.
Monday to Friday (not at public holidays)
Duration: 1 hour
Tours in German:
Charge: Euro 42.00 per guided tour
(till 12 persons)
Euro 3.50 per person (up to 13 persons)
Tours in English, French or Italian:
plus Euro 20.00
Tour group size:
Maximum of 60 visitors
1) Bicycle Touring 20-km ride from Starnberg to Andechs
You can start your cycle tour at Starnberg rail station with the S6 from Munich (about 25 km southwest of Munich)
The first part of the route is uphill and is regrettably heavily traveled. To avoid the serpentine main route Söckinger Strasse, turn left into a private way marked "Alter Berg." Continue until you rejoin Söckinger Strasse and go straight through Söcking. Just before exiting the village you will see a sign indicating the cycle path to Andechs. From here on the route is also excellent for inline-skating.
Alternatively you can begin your cycle trip in Perchting as there is a large parking place on the right side of the road only about 500 meters after the end of the village.
In Erling take a right turn into Mühlstrasse and follow the street until you reach the "Andechser Straße" where you again take a right turn. Just follow this for about 400 meters or so and you will be at the Holy Mountain where you may recuperate and fortify yourself for the return trip