Located 870 m above sea level in a spot between the valleys of the Ammer and Loisach, The Benedictine Abbey of Ettal was founded in 1330 by Ludwig IV, the Holy Roman Emperor and known as Ludwig der Bayer (“the Bavarian”). Ettal with its imposing and unique monastery complex is rightly called one of the masterpieces of Bavarian architecture. The massive basilica, the splendid rococo sacristy, and the treasures of the monastery library attract thousands of visitors every year. Also worth seeing are the royal apartments from the 18th century, the Dresden Room, named after the depiction of Dresden’s riverfront as it appeared in the mid-18th century, and the Chinese Hall, a bright, light-flooded room, which probably served as a gathering space for VIP guests of the abbot.
Today, the abbey remains home to 50 Benedictine monks and also houses a secondary school with boarding facilities and various abbey businesses. Guided tours through the monastery complex are given by appointment.
Behind Monastery Walls
Guided tours behind the monastery walls
It was not by chance that it was monks who hunted medicinal plants in the wild or raised them in their own herb gardens during the Middle Ages. The knowledgeable hand of the monastic apothecary created mysterious mixtures that provided relief and restoration of strength to his sick brothers or passing pilgrims who had come down with some ailment. Since ancient times, the monk’s distillery has been producing the legendary and world-famous Ettal Abbey liqueurs from more than 50 carefully selected herbs.
Guided Tour of Ettal Abbey Distillery
We will show you the monastery distillery, introduce you to the mysteries of the herbs in the “drug room”, and let you take the incomparable experience of these exquisite herbs and liqueurs with all your senses.
Beer, Bavaria’s “liquid bread”, has been brewed at Ettal for more than 400 years. After the tour, you’re invited to check out our brewery museum where you can learn much about the varied and interesting history of beer brewing in Ettal with various old documents and equipment on display.
A Look Behind the Monastery Walls
Learn about the Benedictine motto of “Ora et Labora”, “prayer and work”, which has driven the life of the monks at Ettal since 1330. A guided tour through the magnificent basilica and rococo sacristy will take you to fascinating treasures from the worlds of art, culture, and science. You will then visit the monk’s chapter room and choir hall where you’ll learn about the life of the monks at Ettal.
Ammergau Alps Cheese-Making Demonstration
The cheese-making demonstration in Ettal is a centre for regional marketing and traditional cheese production and invites locals and guests to taste, experience, and enjoy. You’ll also learn everything you ever wanted to know about milk, whey, and cheese. Learn how nature conservation, agriculture, and food production are all connected.
Try and enjoy! After the tour, head to the rustic Brotzeitstüberl to sample the specialities you just saw being produced. The shop also offers plenty of fresh regional products for you to purchase and take home.