© Wein- und Ferienregion Bernkastel-Kues GmbH

Klausen Monastery Library

  • Klausen

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

On the height between the Wittlicher valley and the Moselle valley stands the pilgrimage church of the village Klausen, built in its present form towards the end of the 15th century. It was part of a monastery complex belonging to the Augustinian canons of the Windesheim Congregation, a Reformed order from the Netherlands.
Discipline and humility were the guiding principles according to which this monastery was run. The observance of the rules of the order was meticulously supervised by the superiors. Violations were severely punished. The monastic-asketic way of life prescribed, among other things, that each of the monks had to deal daily for four hours with the copying of books in his cell. On Sundays and holidays, when they were exempt from the duty of physical labour, they had to deal with paperwork 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 holdings within the Archbishopric of Trier.
The library rooms were built towards the end of the 15th century and lie directly above the sacristy, a large room with a cross vault whose ribs rest in the centre on a column. The keystones of this vault are worked in high relief and represent the four great church teachers with the symbols of the evangelists. A rich green vine painting is placed around these keystones in the middle of the vault.
The ogival arches of the walls are covered with late Gothic murals made at the beginning of the 16th century. These represent 19 people spread over six fields. Three of them each form a group, which are connected by banners, whose contents are related to each other and to the room as a library. It is assumed that these representations of persons refer to the arrangement and arrangement of the books.
Thus the representation of the prophets could stand for the Old Testament writings. For the writings of the New Testament, therefore, the evangelist John is presumably depicted. The emperor and also the pope come from the circle of faculty symbols and are allegories of jurisprudence.
The Klausen Library is considered to be a completely isolated example in the Rhineland for the well thought-out pictorial decoration of a monastic room that does not serve directly ecclesiastical purposes.
Since the time of secularisation in 1802, this library has been a Sleeping Beauty. It was also not open to the public.
It has been established that over the centuries, books and rooms have been severely damaged. The books were badly damaged by moisture, mould and bookworms. The rooms were also severely damaged by moisture, dust, soot and weathering. The danger of complete destruction was obvious. That was the reason for us to form the circle of friends for the rescue of the old monastery library.

On the map

Augustinerplatz 2

54524 Klausen


Phone: (0049) 6578 218

Fax: (0049) 6578 1446


General information

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

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