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The Benedictine Abbey of Plankstetten, established in 1129, serves as the region's spiritual, cultural, and economic hub. The monastery's farms were transitioned to organic farming in 1994, following Bioland guidelines. The Staudenhof monastery estate is widely recognized as a model farm for organic-biological agriculture.

The monks and guests are provided with healthy and delicious organic food through the monastery's agriculture, market gardens, bakery, and butchery.

For over 25 years, the guest house, which features a distinct corner tower, has held an important place within the grand monastery complex. It is also used for meetings.

History of the Plankenstetten monastery

Foundation 12th - 14th century
Founded in 1129, the Benedictine Abbey of Plankstetten was established by the Counts of Hirschberg as an episcopal monastery under the Bishop of Eichstätt. The noble family of the Hirschbergs, who were among the region's wealthiest, were the monastery's principal benefactors. Count Ernst IV of Hirschberg, buried in the monastery church, and his brother Gebhard II, the bishop of Eichstätt at the time of the foundation, were crucial figures in the establishment of the monastery.

In the early days, the monastery church was dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and St. John the Evangelist, and there were between 10 and 15 monks living in Plankstetten.

Troubled times 15th - 17th century
However, in the 15th century, Abbot Ulrich V initiated extensive structural changes, and the history of Plankstetten beer began under his reign with the brewery's construction. He also spiritually reformed the monastery. But due to the Reformation and the Landshut War of Succession, economic hardship broke out in Plankstetten and the surrounding area in 1504/05. The monastery was plundered and destroyed in 1525 during the Peasants' War.

In the 17th century, the monks of Plankstetten had to flee from the Thirty Years' War unrest and the Swedes to Austria. The monastery was again plundered and devastated. The situation calmed down enough at the end of the century for the monastery to receive the baroque buildings that still exist today.

Abbot Maurus Xaverius Herbst OSB (1701 - 1757)
Abbot Maurus Xaverius Herbst OSB played a significant role in promoting the devotion to the Sorrowful Mother of God and the flagellated Savior; he continued the renovations to the monastery buildings.

Secularization (1806) and new beginning (1904)
In 1806, the Bavarian state dissolved the monastery (secularization), and some Benedictine monks continued to work in the parish. The first attempt to re-establish the monastery failed in 1856, but in 1904, a monastery of the Benedictine Abbey of Scheyern was established in Plankstetten. Financially, the restoration of Plankstetten was supported by Baron Theodor von Cramer-Klett.

In 1907, an agricultural school opened in Plankstetten, and the rural monastery property, the Staudenhof, was also acquired. Activities in the bakery, brewery, and butchery also began. In 1917, Plankstetten was again elevated to an independent abbey, with Abbot Wolfgang Maria Elba as the first abbot of Neu-Plankstetten.

However, under National Socialist rule, the agricultural school had to be closed in 1934. During World War II, some monks had to go to war, and many fell. A military hospital was also set up in the monastery, causing significant damage.

Recent history (from 1904)
In the following years, the monastery was gradually rebuilt and expanded. In 1994, the monastic community switched to organic farming according to Bioland guidelines. Today, the monastery estate on the Staudenhof is a widely known demonstration farm for organic-biological farming. Agriculture and market gardens, monastery bakery, and monastery butchery provide monks and guests with tasty and healthy food of organic quality.

DisoMAT 2023
19 - 21 June 2023 | Hybrid Conference in Plankenstetten (Bavaria) & online

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