Neumünster Abbey

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Coordinates: 49°36′37″N 06°08′11″E / 49.61028°N 6.13639°E / 49.61028; 6.13639

Neumünster Abbey after restoration

Neumünster Abbey (Luxembourgish: Abtei Neimënster, French: Abbaye de Neumünster) is a public meeting place, cultural centre, and former Benedictine abbey located in the Grund district of Luxembourg City in southern Luxembourg.

History[edit]

An Abbey corridor

After the original Benedictine abbey on the Altmünster Plateau was destroyed in 1542, the monks began building a new abbey or "Neumünster" in 1606 in the Grund.[1] In 1618, a marble tomb was constructed to house the bones of John the Blind. The Abbey was destroyed in 1684 during the Siege of Luxembourg.[2] The Abbey began to rebuild on the same site in 1688 and extended in 1720.[1]

In 1796, the French Directory enacted legislation that secularized Luxembourg's abbeys. In 1798, the Abbey was used as a prison and barracks. In 1805, the municipality's welfare office used the Abbey for an orphanage. The orphanage operated until 1807 when a gunpowder explosion destroyed the building. After 1815, the Abbey served as a military hospital for German Confederation troops.[2] In 1867, the Second Treaty of London declared Luxembourg a neutral and independent state, causing the Prussian garrison to leave the Abbey's grounds. From 1869 to 1985, the Abbey again served as a prison.[2]

During World War II, the Nazis used the abbey to imprison political resisters to their occupation of Luxembourg. Among the most notable of those political prisoners was Luxembourg's best-known sculptor Lucien Wercollier.[citation needed]

From 1994 to 2004, the Abbey underwent restoration. It opened to the public in May 2004 as a meeting place and a cultural centre. It hosts concerts, exhibitions, and seminars.[3] The abbey is also now home to the Lucien Wercollier Cloister, where many works from the sculptor's private collection are permanently displayed.[citation needed] Since 1998, it has been the home of the European Institute of Cultural Routes.[4] Bulgaria and Romania signed their Treaty of Accession to the European Union on 25 April 2005 at Neumünster.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-03-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c Pauly, Michel (24 March 2022). "The Abbaye before 1945". neimënster. Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  3. ^ a b Rao, Sarita (15 Nov 2021). "Architectural icon: Neumünster Abbey". Luxembourg Times. Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  4. ^ "The European Institute of Cultural Routes (Luxembourg)". Council of Europe. Retrieved 2022-03-31.

External links[edit]