The highest located Benedictine Abbey of Europe (1,340 m a.s.l.) rises above Burgusio in the Val Venosta valley.
Image gallery: Benedictine Abbey of Monte Maria
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The Monte Maria Monastery - "Kloster Marienberg" in German, "Abbazia di Monte Maria" in Italian - is located above Burgusio, in the municipality of Malles in the Val Venosta valley. The white, castle-like building dates back to the 12th century and was donated by the Nobles of Tarasp. The first monks derived from the Benedictine Abbey of Ottobeuren in Bavaria. Today the monastery has got 11 members, living according to the rules of the Saint Benedict of Nursia.
In 1724, the monks founded a Humanistic Gymnasium in Merano, in the 20th century the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Maria itself hosted a private gymnasium and therefore has got a long tradition in formal education. Pius Zingerle, Albert Jäger and Beda Weber were an illustrious triumvirate in the gymnasium, until 1928, when it was forced to close its doors. Still today, however, the monks operate in the field of continuing education: weekend courses, a guest house and "Monastery on Time" (only for men) provide retreat in our frantic time.
Since 2007, the ground floor hosts the "Ora et labora" museum, providing an insight into the life in the monastery. Also pieces of art dating back to its founding period are exhibited. The crypt hosts a peculiarity: The fresco cycle dates back to the period of 1175 and 1180 and represents a unique monument of Romanesque arts. A large part of these paintings was already discovered in 1887, while they were completely laid open only in 1980. Also the monastery library, the St. Stephan Church and the museum depot can be visited. And how to reach the Monte Maria Monastery? The road from Burgusio to Slingia/Watles leads to a parking space in a bend, from there it's just 100 metres to the building. Furthermore, the short St. Benedict Trail takes you from Burgusio to the monastery, and several hiking paths (such as the Hours' Trail) lead past it.
library, crypt, church:
€ 10.50 guided library visit (museum included):
Wednesdays at 3.30 pm and Fridays at 10.30 am
€ 10.50 guided crypt visit (museum included):
Mondays at 3.30 pm, Thursdays at 10.30 am and Saturdays at 3.30 pm
€ 7.50 guided church visit (museum included)
reservation needed for guided tours
"Ora et labora" museum:
€ 5.50 adults
€ 4.50 groups
€ 3.00 students
free up to 14 years (if accompanied by their parents)
guided museum visit every 1st Wednesday of the month at 10 am (in German language)
The crypt, the library, the museum depot and the St. Stephan Church are accessible only in a guided tour (in German or Italian language). Monte Maria stays closed on Sundays and on church holidays, except on Easter Monday and Whit Monday.
March 15 - Oct 31, 2021 (German language):
guided crypt tour Tuesdays at 3.30 pm, Thursdays at 10.30 am, Saturdays at 3.30 pm
guided library tour Tuesdays at 2 pm, Wednesdays at 3.30 pm, Fridays at 10.30 am
June 15 - Sept 15, 2021:
guided church tour Thursdays at 1.30 pm
guided museum depot tour Fridays at 2.30 pm
March 15 - Oct 31, 2021 (Italian language):
guided crypt tour Mondays at 2.30 pm, Wednesdays at 2 pm, Saturdays at 2.30 pm
guided library tour Wednesdays at 2.30 pm, Fridays at 11.30 am
June 15 - Sept 15, 2021:
guided church tour Thursdays at 11 am
guided museum depot tour Thursdays at 2.30 pm
The museum is accessible without guide: Mondays to Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm.