Kloster Allerheiligen – Oppenau, Germany - Atlas Obscura

Kloster Allerheiligen

Oppenau, Germany

This ancient ruined monastery has been destroyed by fire so many times that it seems like God hates it. 


Deep inside Germany’s Black Forest, are the ruins of Kloster Allerheiligen, the Monastery of All Saints, which has been burnt time and again by lightning and fire but still exists today as a haunting ruin.

According to historic reports, the first abbey was installed on the site in 1192 as a simple wooden construction. Over the next hundred years or more the church grew and upgraded, with the support of local donations and the greater church. However even with the new stone edifice a large fire destroyed the monastery in 1470, and yet another blaze tore through the church again in 1555. Yet with each bout of destruction, repairs were made and the church stayed alive. As though God himself had it out for the monastery, it was again burnt in 1804 when the abbey was struck by lightning just a couple of years after having been deconsecrated by the church. After the final calamity, no one bothered to try and repair the aging abbey and it was left to crumble as ruins. 

Despite this initial neglect, the ruins of the church remain today, kept from deteriorating further by historic preservationists. While it used to be monks and pilgrims flocking to the site, it is now tourists and lovers of beautiful ruin. Visiting in the autumn when the temperature starts to drop and fog accumulates around the ruins is recommended thanks to the spooky atmosphere the weather creates. In summer, there is also a beautiful Baroque garden to explore and a cafe.

Know Before You Go

You can drive there by car or you can take the hiking-path along the beautiful waterfalls 2 kilometers south. The path is easy to walk with kids, however, there are steps along the route. 

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