Spying the elaborate dome of the Ettal Monastery for the first time, I was surprised to see such ornate architecture dramatically rising out of the countryside, juxtaposed with the area’s modest Bavarian homes. The monastery, located in the village of Ettal, is not far from the mountain village of Oberammergau, which is well-known for its Passion Play, held every ten years.
Founded in the 1300s, but completely rebuilt in the 1700s following a devastating fire, the complex features Baroque and Rococo architecture. Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian had it constructed so that it could house knights and monks. For many years, the monastery’s monks have brewed their own beer and made their own straw-colored liqueur using mountain herbs, and today it’s still possible to purchase both.
Our visit to Ettal was brief, as it coincided with errands in the nearby ski resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, but it did offer just enough time to peek at the architecture, and stroll the grounds of the monastery. On a future trip, I’d love to visit the nearby dairy-making cooperative to sample the regional cheese and see how it’s made!
Where in the World?
- There is no cost to enter the Ettal Monastery Church to take a peek, but be sure to check the opening hours before you go.
- We purchased day passes (known as the Tagesticket) for the regional Oberbayern bus, which you can easily identify by its bright red exterior. These tickets allowed us to travel from Oberammergau to the Ettal Monastery and Garmisch in one day. Neuschwanstein Castle and Linderhof Palace are also on the same line making it easy for you to mix and match the places you would like to visit in a given day. At 9,50 Euro / adult, this pass offers a better value if you want to visit multiple spots in Oberbayern (Upper Bavaria) in one day. We purchased our passes directly from the bus driver.
- Need more inspiration? This link contains an index of all my posts from Germany.
Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.