Wald Monastery & St. Bernhard Parish Church

Von-Weckenstein-Straße ,  88639 Wald

Monastery founded in 1212 with baroque monastery church of St. Bernhard.

Official content of Wald / Hohenzollern

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The former monastery and baroque monastery church of St. Bernhard with its impressive works of art and paintings is one of the outstanding destinations on the western route of the Upper Swabian Baroque Road and still forms the centre of the community of Wald.

Monastery History

The Wald Monastery was founded in 1212 by Burkard von Weckenstein as a Cistercian convent. The Romanesque and Gothic parts of the cloister, the chapter hall and the "Jennerflügel" (Jenner's wing) are preserved from the Middle Ages. In the years 1721-1727 the large baroque monastery complex was built in the north and west of the complex. In the course of secularisation, the abbey was dissolved in 1806 and served various purposes in the possession of the princes of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. After the Second World War, Benedictine nuns of St. Lioba from Freiburg founded the "Heimschule Kloster Wald" (home school Kloster Wald) in some parts of the building.

St. Bernhard Parish Church

The construction of today's parish church of St. Bernhard in baroque style begun in 1696 under the direction of Jos Beer, a member of the well-known Vorarlberg family of master builders. The church was completed just 2 years later in 1698. The single nave longhouse and choir are covered with semicircular bays. The walls are structured with pilasters and windows. The deep gallery rests on six oak pillars and was used as the "nuns' prayer and psalming choir". The church was richly decorated between 1739 and 1772 and the stucco work was carried out between 1751 and 1753 by the stuccoer Johann Jakob Schwarzmann. He divided the room into two roughly equal parts by means of a stucco curtain over the parapet of the nuns' gallery, which is no longer preserved today, and designed each part into a central room by creating a large ceiling panel. The focus is now on the middle part of the room. In 1752, Johann Melchior Eggmann from Rorschach was commissioned to paint the church. However, he finished his work early and the paintings were finished by the Sigmaringen painter Meinrad von Au. He belongs to the most important painters of the 18th century in Upper Swabia. Further works of his oeuvre can be admired in Pfullendorf, Meßkirch, Sigmaringen and Haigerloch. Furthermore, there is the only completely preserved organ of the organ builder Aichgasser to find. Of particular interest are the "Holy Bodies": richly framed and decorated bones of supposed Roman catacomb martyrs, preserved in glass shrines of side altars. Some of these were purchased in Rome in the 18th century, for a lot of money, and were transferred to the monastery church in an elaborate procession.

In summary, it can probably be said that the parish church of St. Bernhard is one of the most valuable artistic monuments in Hohenzollern due to its rich furnishings of high artistic quality and the preserved, original condition of the substance.

A few years ago the "Weiherwanderweg" (pond hiking trail) was created. It deals with the fish economy from everyday life in the monastery and leads to idyllic places.

Opening hours:

As the impressive monastery building is occupied by the boarding school students, it is not accessible. However, the church can be visited, it is open all year round.

Guided tours of the church for groups are available on request from the Pfullendorf Tourist Information Office, Tel. 07552-251131.


Free entry

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