Europe’s abbeys provide a glimpse into the past during a time of prosperity and religious exploration. There are beautiful abbeys found in all corners of Europe, but these historic abbeys are some of the most famous.
Abbey of St. Gall in Switzerland
The Abbey of St. Gall is in Switzerland and remained active from 747 through 1805. The foundation of the Abbey was put in place around 613. The Golden Age of the abbey started with Emperor Louis the Pious, who made the abbey an Imperial Abbey.
The Golden Age continued when King Louis the German gave the abbey immunity.
The abbey continued to flourish until the 10th century, with some of the most notable scholars of the time going to study at the abbey.
Abbey of San Fruttuoso di Capodimonte in Italy
The Abbey of San Fruttuoso is a Catholic abbey, which is between Portofino and Camogli. The abbey is located on the bay and it can only be reached by sea. You’ll also find that the hiking trails are a must-explore and the only way to get to the abbey since no roads have been built.
One of the key most important historic parts of the abbey remain underwater and consist of the Christ of the Abyss statue, which remains 17 metres under the water.
Pannonhalma Abbey in Hungary
Nestled in Hungary is Pannonhalma Abbey, which is a medieval building that is a historic monument which was founded in 996. The abbey is located near the town on the top of a hill. The abbey remains in use today, with some 50 monks remaining in the abbey.
Prince Geza founded the Benedictine monastery.
The abbey’s library houses the oldest document in the Hungarian language dating from 1055. The complex is a beautiful sight and a must-visit.
Orval Abbey in Belgium
Belgium’s Orval Abbey was founded in 1132 as a Cistercian monastery. The first foundation of the site dates back to the 10th century. The abbey was erected in 1132 when a group of monks arrived and formed a single community in the abbey.
The abbey was destroyed in 1252. The rebuilding process took over 100 years, but it was completed and remained active until 1793, when the abbey was completely burnt down by French forces.
A new monastery was constructed between 1926 and 1948. The ruins of Orval Abbey still serve as a reminder of the past. There are ample historic sites to see and explore on the grounds.
There are several artifacts within the abbey you can also view.