Day 2 – Roggenburg, Germany

After a hot breakfast at Hotel Eden Wolff, we met Christoph, the bus driver who will chauffeur us for the rest of the tour.

A rainy start to the day didn’t dampen our excitement for the next tour stop—Roggenburg Abbey. Along the way, SNC geology professor Tim Flood treated us to some fun facts about the terrain outside our windows. It turns out that this part of Germany’s topography is strikingly similar to Wisconsin’s kettle moraine region. By the time we reached the abbey, the skies had cleared.

Built in 1126 on property donated by 3 brothers, Roggenburg started as a priory of Windberg Abbey and became an abbey itself in 1444. The buildings have been expanded on and renovated several times since.

Like so many other abbeys, Roggenburg suffered the devastation of multiple wars and conflicts. In 1802, the Bavarian army occupied the property and displaced the Norbertines. It wasn’t until 1982 when they finally regrouped as an abbey of Premonstratensians (Norbertines) and began rebuilding.

The abbey features a Rococo style of architecture that’s often likened to frosting on a cake. The intent, according to our incredible tour guide, Father Ulrich, is to ensure that whenever you get in touch with God, you should experience this “wow” effect. It’s a place where people want to stay even after mass has ended.

In addition to the church, the abbey property includes an education center, modern hotel and restaurant. Tour organizers promised we wouldn’t go hungry on this trip, and so far that’s proven to be true!

We were fortunate to experience the Pentecostal mass at Roggenburg. Steffen, a Norbertine friend of SNC, is an organist whose music only enhanced the unique experience. The photo gallery with captions gives some detail behind the beauty and mass of this special abbey tucked away in little Roggenburg, the “hill with the rye on top.”

Quote(s) of the Day: 

  • “WTF!” – Father Anonymous
  • “If I have time to pray, I pray one hour a day. If I don’t have time, I pray two hours.” – Unknown, but shared by Father Ulrich

Photo Gallery

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