Religious centers in the Lüneburg Heath: the six active heath cloisters
In the Lüneburg Heath, there are six active Protestant cloisters. These interesting buildings date back to the time of the brick Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. The youngest and the only Protestant cloister building in northern Germany is Medingen Cloister which was built in 1787 in the early classical style. Today, single Protestant women live here in a Christian community whereby each has their own apartment and a private garden. Unlike Catholic cloisters, these women's communities have a more social, cultural and artistic function.
The six Heath Cloisters
Medingen Cloister in Bad Bevensen
Since 1336 there has been a cloister in Medingen which was originally known as Zellensen. Originally a Cistercian nunnery, it became a Protestant convent after the Reformation during the reign of Duke Ernst ("the Confessor") of Brunswick and Lüneburg in 1559.
Kloster Medingen St. Mauritius
29549 Bad Bevensen
Phone: +49 5821 2286
The Ebstorf Cloister was founded in 1160 by Premonstratensian monks. After a fire in the 12th century, however, Benedictine nuns from the cloister of Walsrode came to Ebstorf. Ebstorf soon developed into a Marian shrine. The cloister's North German brick Gothic buildings with the large church date back to the 14th century.
Phone: +49 5822 2304
Isenhagen Cloister in Hankensbüttel
The Cloister of Duchess Agnes of Meissen, a daughter of Henry the Lion, was founded in 1243 in Alt-Isenhagen as a Cistercian cloister. After a fire, it was moved to Marienrode and used from 1262 onward as a Cistercian cloister. After another fire in 1345 the construction of today's cloister began in Hankensbüttel.
Phone: +49 5832 313
St. John's Monastery in Walsrode
This monastery is not only the oldest of the six heath cloisters, it also has the most dynamic history. According to a document of King Otto III, it was founded in the mid-10th century as a convent of canons dedicated to John the Baptist. Almost 300 years later it was converted into a Benedictine monastery.
Kloster St. Johannes
Phone: +49 5161 485838-0
Lüne Cloister in Lüneburg
The former Benedictine cloister was founded in 1172. After two fires, the existing medieval buildings which date back to 1372 were built near the center of the historic town of Lüneburg. The cloister has been a women's convent since the Protestant Reformation.
Phone: +49 4131 52318
Because of its rich art history, Wienhausen Cloister is the best known of the six monasteries in the Lüneburg region. It was initially founded in 1221 in Nienhagen, but moved ten years later because of the mosquitoes in the swampy terrain to Wienhausen on the Aller River.
An der Kirche 1
Phone: +49 5149 18660