Choir stalls in Bronnbach Monastery in Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Founded by Cistercian monks in 1138, Bronnbach Monastery enjoys a secluded location in the picturesque Tauber valley in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. This isolated spot well away from the beaten track was a conscious decision designed to allow the monks the freedom to fully devote themselves to God’s teachings.
The 650-year history as a monastery came to a – temporary – end with the advent of mediatisation and secularisation in Germany between 1802 and 1814. The monastery was dissolved in 1803 and the entire estate became the property of the House of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. While a number of the monks relocated to some of the surviving monasteries, others chose to spend their twilight days removed from the convent life in Bronnbach itself. The last monk residing in Bronnbach died in 1832.
A period of restructuring followed, but the existing fabric of the building remained largely untouched. Bronnbach even became a royal residence in 1855, when King Dom Miguel I of Portugal driven from his homeland took refuge with his family here.
Several different monastic orders came and went between 1922 and the 1980s until the entire complex was acquired by the Main-Tauber district in 1986. The monastery underwent sundry stages of renovation and was used for various objectives.
In 1989, the monastery was classified as a monument of exceptional national importance. It is still used for religious purposes and has since become a popular venue for weddings.
The choir stalls were modelled on those to be seen in Mainz Cathedral and were carved by one of Bronnbach’s own monks.