Himmerod Abbey

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Himmerod Abbey, main entrance

Himmerod Abbey (Kloster Himmerod) is a Cistercian monastery in the community of Großlittgen in the Verbandsgemeinde of Manderscheid in the district of Bernkastel-Wittlich, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, located in the Eifel, in the valley of the Salm.

First foundation[edit]

Himmerod Abbey was founded in 1134 by Saint Bernard and is a direct foundation of Clairvaux. In its turn it founded a daughter house, Heisterbach Abbey, in 1189. The Baroque church was completed in 1751, but after secularisation from 1802 under French occupation fell into ruin.

Second foundation[edit]

Himmerod Abbey church

In 1922 the monastery was re-founded by the settlement here of German Cistercian monks from the former monastery of Mariastern in the present Bosnia. The church was re-built under Abbot Vitus Recke (abbot from 1937 to 1959), and completed in 1962, and contains a famous organ by Johannes Klais.

The new abbey founded the Abbey of the Holy Cross, Itaporanga near São Paulo in Brazil, in 1936.

The abbey has a museum, a book - and art shop, a café, a guesthouse and retreat-house and a fishery.

The last abbot (as of 2006) is Bruno Fromme, in post since 1991.


"German news agency dpa on Saturday quoted the monastery’s head, Abbot Johannes, as saying the financial situation and especially the small number of monks had played a key role in the decision.

The monastery’s property, near the village of Grosslittgen, will be transferred to the Catholic diocese of Trier, while the six monks will move to other monasteries. It was not clear what would happen to the monastery’s other staff." [1]


The abbey also has its own publishing house, the Himmerod Drucke, which to date has published over 50 works by a number of authors, especially Father Stephan Reimund Senge, a monk at Himmerod. The journal Unsere Liebe Frau von Himmerod ("Our Lady of Himmerod") appears three times a year, and the newsletter Himmeroder Rundbrief (ed. Father Stephan) about 10 times a year.

Himmerod memorandum[edit]

From 5 October to 9 October 1950, officers of the former Wehrmacht, on the authority of the West German government, met in conference at Himmerod Abbey to prepare for Chancellor Konrad Adenauer to launch the re-armament of Germany. The conference produced the Himmerod memorandum (German: Himmeroder Denkschrift), which laid out the prerequisites for re-armament and suggested what Germany could contribute to the defense of western Europe. This was an important step toward the official founding of the Bundeswehr in 1955.


  1. ^ "After 883 years, Cistercian monastery to close in Germany". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-10-14.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°01′40″N 6°45′24″E / 50.02778°N 6.75667°E / 50.02778; 6.75667