Located in the lovely landscape north of Tübingen is the former Cistercian Monastery of Bebenhausen, the “Pearl of the Schönbuch Forest”. Luckily, the medieval enclosure and monastery buildings have been almost perfectly preserved over the years.
The Summer Refectory (1335) and the notable crossing tower of the monastery church (1407–09) are masterpieces of gothic construction and design. The monastery was founded in 1183/84 by Count Palatine Rudolph I of Tübingen and was first settled by Premonstratensians, also known as Norbertines, who were not monks but a Christian religious order of Augustinian canons regular. In 1190, a group of Cistercian monks from Schönau, near Heidelberg, took over the monastery and it became one of the richest in the land. During the Reformation in 1535, the monastery was disbanded and the building served as a Protestant monastic school.
In the 19th century, the buildings next to the monastery were turned into a hunting palace by the kings of Württemberg. For the last royal couple of Württemberg, Wilhelm II and Charlotte, the Castle served as their residence in exile. Wilhelm II of Württemberg lived here from 1918 until his death in 1921 and his wife Charlotte until her death in 1946. From 1947–52 the buildings served as seat of the state legislature of Württemberg-Hohenzollern. At the monastery and castle museum, you can see the rooms of the medieval monastery as well as the historical hunting castle, complete with castle kitchen from 1915/16.
Monastery viewing hours:
April to October: Mon–Sun 9 a.m.– 6 p.m.
November to March: Tues–Sun 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
April to October: Sat, Sun, holidays 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Castle: Open only for tours
April to October: Tues–Fri 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sat, Sun, holidays 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
November to March: Tues–Fri 2 p.m.–4 p.m.; Sat, Sun. holidays 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
April to October: Sat, Sun, holidays 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Group tours by arrangement
Audio-Guide for adults and children Guided tours in German, English, French, Italian and Spanish
Adults 5,00 EUR (Monastery) Discounted 2,50 EUR (Monastery) Family 12,50 EUR (Monastery) Groups 4,50 EUR per person (Monastery)