There are several statues, fountains and such to see all over the abbey grounds. Most prominent location right in the centre of the large courtyard is a Baroque fountain with trinity column from 1704, a typical catholic work of art. The column in the middle of the octogonal basin has two angels with coats-of-arms of Martha Thanner who was abbess...more
The old saw mill is still preserved and in pretty good shape. They offer shows and guided tours. On the guided tours you also see the small water power station right next to the mill and learn more about renewable energy - the abbey covers the entire demand of the small town Ostritz and their own through water and solar power stations.Fee for...more
Ascending the calvary is a *must* for several reasons: From there you have the best view of the abbey (see intro pic), the stations of the calvary are really nice works of art and last but not least you'll walk by the easternmost vineyard of Germany :-)Follow the small path uphill that starts just below the Klosterschenke restaurant. Be forewarned,...more
In the western part of the abbey complex (entrance signposted) is a garden with biblical plants. It is beautifully designed, an enclosed area for which they ask you to pay a small fee.The garden has a size of about 1,000 m2 and was created 1998/99 on the grounds of the economy buildings. Most of the 110 plants mentioned in the bible are to find...more
The most beautiful (IMO) building of the abbey complex is the Chapel of the Cross and St. Michael, consecrated in 1756. It is located at the southwestern corner of the abbey, right behind the Trinity column. Access with a guided tour only.The chapel has a quadratic ground-plan, is two storeys tall and has an octogonal dome. The facades are...more
A bit unusual for an abbey, the simple church entrance is tucked away behind the main buildings on the left side.Once inside you'll be surprised to see a church interior quite of different style compared to the appearance of the other abbey buildings. The church is still a Gothic structure (consecrated in 1244), although the interior was...more
The restaurant just outside the entrance to the abbey is very good. It is located in a timber-framed house from 1740, nicely restored, with a pleasant beergarden with 100 years old chestnut trees. Quick, attentive and friendly service, reasonable prices and good regional food.
Favorite Dish: I had a Sauerbraten (beef) with red cabbage and dumplings plus a dark beer. Yummy. Definitely try the cake from the abbey's bakery ... delicious :-)
The definitely most economical and a surprisingly convenient/pleasant mode of transportation to St. Marienthal is cycling. The cycling trail along the river Neiße is well marked and maintained and runs from (Liberec-) Zittau to Görlitz (- Baltic coast). The scenery is lovely, the views of the mountains (Jizera e.g.) are beautiful. Plenty of...more
Another option to get to the abbey by public transportation is the bus that runs along the main road B99 Görlitz - Zittau.The problem with the bus is that it runs infrequently (roughly every 2 hours) and only on school days. Expect hords of school kids in the bus, too! The bus starts sometimes at the train station in Görlitz but mostly in...more
Getting to the abbey by public transportation is a bit tricky and inconvenient. There are trains, operated by the ODEG (not Deutsche Bahn!), that run Görlitz - Zittau, a quite scenic route that partially runs on Polish ground. The closest stop to the abbey is Krzewina Zgorzelecka, just across the border from the town Ostritz (2 minutes) and from...more
The Abbey St. Marienthal celebrated their 775th anniversary in 2009 e.g. with a festive Mass outdoor on the abbey grounds. I remember it was a HOT Sunday (2 August) and many people tried to escape the sun. I had sympathy for the nuns who had reserved seats in the first row.It was an impressive mass with the Bishop of Dresden-Meißen and the Bishop...more
The second weekend every year is a wine festival on the abbey's grounds. It is only that time when you can taste the local wine from the easternmost vineyard in Germany - right above the abbey on the hill with the Way of the Cross.The vineyard is owned by the abbey but is leased to some people from the neighbourhood. They produce only about 1,000...more
Hardly a visitor of the abbey ever goes to the nearby small town Ostritz - which is a shame since it has a nice main square (pic 5), beautiful townhouses from the 18th and 19th centuries along narrow, cobbled alleys and a stunning church, too.
The catholic parish church was built from 1230 on and despite several construction works and redecorations (especially during the Baroque era) the structures still date from that time. The portal in the narthex (pic 4) is Romanesque style (copy, the original is in Dresden, museum of decorative arts). The altars are Baroque style, the magnificent main altar (pic 3) from 1785 (the painting a work of Philipp Leubner from Reichenberg/Liberec from 1773), the other altars are from the early 18th century, partially incorporating statues from 1480. The pulpit is from 1609, a beautiful Renaissance work. There are numerous impressive tombstones inside and outside the church, mostly from the 17th and 18th centuries.