© Franz-Peter Wasser, Klausen

Klausen Monastery Library

  • Klausen

The stations of the Way of the Cross were created by the famous Wittlich artist Joseph Kunsmann.

The pilgrimage church of the village of Klausen, built in its present form towards the end of the 15th century, stands on the heights between the Wittlicher Senke and the Moselle valley. It was part of a monastery complex of the Augustinian canons from the Windesheim Congregation, a reformed order from the Netherlands. Discipline and humility were the guiding principles by which this monastery was run. Compliance with the rules of the order was meticulously monitored by the superiors.
Violations were severely punished.
The monastic ascetic way of life stipulated, among other things, that each of the monks had to spend four hours a day in his cell copying books. On Sundays and holidays, while they were exempt from the duty of physical labour, they had to occupy themselves with writing at any available time. As a result, the monastery library of the Augustinian canons in Klausen soon had a large stock of books. With 180 manuscripts and 139 early prints (incunabula) dating from before 1500 and several thousand copies of other writings, it was one of the largest libraries in the archdiocese of Trier.

The library rooms were built towards the end of the 15th century and are located directly above the sacristy, a large room with a cross vault whose ribs rest on a column in the centre. The keystones of this vault are carved in high relief and depict the four great Doctors of the Church with the symbols of the Evangelists. A rich vine painting in green is placed around these keystones in the vault centres. The pointed arch fields of the wall surfaces are covered with late Gothic wall paintings produced at the beginning of the 16th century. These depict 19 people spread over six fields. Three of them each form a group, connected to each other by banners whose contents are set in relation to each other and to the room as a library. It is assumed that these representations of the persons refer to the arrangement and placement of the books. Thus, the representation of the prophets could stand for the Old Testament writings. For the New Testament writings, therefore, John the Evangelist is probably depicted. The emperor and the pope come from the circle of faculty symbols and are allegories of jurisprudence. The Klausen library is considered to be a unique example in the Rhineland of the well-thought-out pictorial decoration of a monastery room that does not directly serve ecclesiastical purposes.

"In order to preserve this room and the holdings still stored in it, to make them accessible and to open them to all interested parties, the 'Friends of the old monastery library of the Augustinian Canons Regular' was founded in 1999 as a voluntary support association in cooperation with the parish of Klausen. A visit to the library room is only possible within the framework of a guided tour (duration: approx. 90 minutes).This usually includes a short introduction to the history of Klausen and a walk through the pilgrimage church, including a visit to the Chapel of Grace, the Antwerp High Altar and the monastery library.

Individual guests Open guided tours are offered several times a year by the 'Friends of the Old Abbey Library' and the parish of Klausen. The exact dates can be found on this page under Current dates and events, on the internet and Facebook page of the Sanctuary of Chiusa, the events page of the parish of Chiusa and in the daily press. Groups Guided tours are available for small groups (up to 20 people) all year round, but outside of church services and special events such as concerts, readings or lectures. Costs Donation for the monastery library in Klausen Registration Kath. Pfarramt Maria Heimsuchung Augustinerplatz 2 54524 Klausen email: pfarrbuero-klausen@pg-salmtal.de"

On the map

Augustinerplatz 2

54524 Klausen


Phone: (0049) 6578 218

Fax: (0049) 6578 1446


Website: www.wallfahrtskirche-klausen.de

General information

If you would like to visit the monastery library, please call and ask for the current opening hours.

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