Talrain 6
CH-6043 Adligenswil

Tel. 0041 41 410 50 68
Fax 0041 41 410 62 59






This lavishly illustrated volume depicts monasteries over the course of the centuries, the spirit in which they were built and the people who lived in them and those who live there today.

A monastery proves to be an inspiring cosmos in miniature – with nature and order, everyday life and celebrations, culture and education, coexistence and leadership, healing skills and hospitality, prayer and work, renewal and conservation, serenity and life in proportion.






The legacy of
the monasteries

Past and present
of a different way of life


by Heike Drechsler

Uwe A. Oster

Foreword by Odilo Lechner







Church and cloister – the two hubs of the monastery

Library and scriptorium – preservers of the cultural legacy

Education as the focal point of life

Abbot’s house and chapter house – how a monastery is organized

Refectory, dormitory and chapter house – everyday life in a monastery

Monastery management - barn, granary, mill ...

Guest house and pilgrims’ lodge

The monastery garden



Picture credits




Dr. phil. Heike Drechsler

Born 1965, studied history, history of art and German philology in Heidelberg. She is in charge of the archives and the library of the Carpathian German Kulturwerk Slowakei e.V. in Karlsruhe. Her research work focuses on medieval art and cultural history as well as ecclesiastical history.


Uwe A. Oster

Born 1964, studied history and German in Tübingen. He is deputy editor-in-chief of the history magazine DAMALS. His numerous publications deal with biographical and historical topics. He is the editor of several illustrated volumes on cultural history.


Dr. phil. Dr. theol. H. C. Odilo Lechner OSB

Born 1931, studied philosophy and theology in Munich.
A Benedictine monk since 1952. In 1964, he became the Abbot of the St. Bonifaz monastery in Munich and its associated monastery in Andechs.

Odilo Lechner is still much in demand as a theological speaker and is a popular author, who numbers the “Bayerische Poetentaler” among his awards.
He was awarded an honorary doctor title by the University of Munich for the impulses he gave to a theology of spirituality.




9 3/8 x 11 5/8 in.

24 x 29,5 cm

272 pages

Over 250 full colour