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Salem Abbey (Reichskloster Salem)

Salem Abbey

Salem Abbey is a Cistercian monastery located in Salem, Baden-Württemberg region in Germany.



Location: Salem, Baden-Württemberg  Map

Constructed: 1136 by Gunthram of Adelsreute

Order: Cistercian

Tel. (07553) 814 37

Open: Apr- Oct: 9:30am- 6pm Mon- Sat

10:30am- 6pm Sun




Description of Salem Abbey


The religious complex of the Salem Abbey was constructed in 1136 by Gunthram of Adelsreute. The first head of the Salem Monastery became Frowin of Bellevaux. Soon Salem Abbey grew in size and prosperity. Frederick Barbarossa specifically dedicated the abbey as a religious complex under special protection of the Imperial throne, thus getting an honourable title of Reichsabtei or Reichskloster. Salem Abbey was badly damaged by a fire in 1697. Subsequent reconstruction gave the complex its current Baroque appearance. Monks who lived gathered a massive library with over 30,000 volumes of books and documents. Most of these items were collected by a librarian Caspar Oexle who was latter elected abbot.

Unfortunately Salem Abbey life came to an end in the 19th century. In 1803 after Reichsdeputationshauptschluss (Principal Conclusion of the Extraordinary Imperial Delegation) resolution the site was nationalized. All the monks left Salem Abbey and it became a museum. The massive collection of books and documents were transferred to the Petershaysen Abbey and later sold to the University of Heidelberg.











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