Right at the heart of the small but lively Luneburg Heath town of Walsrode lies a sizeable area enclosed by a red-brick wall. Visitors entering through the cast-iron gate are astounded to find calmness and spaciousness enveloping them so close to a main thoroughfare. The well-kept 18th century architectural ensemble exudes a special atmosphere: peace and a sense of security in midst of the town, a place to pause and reflect in a region which otherwise offers visitors mainly entertainment and amusement.
Every day from April to October, the LADIES OF THE CONVENT are happy to welcome visitors to GUIDED TOURS through the abbey and talk about its varied HISTORY spanning more than 1000 years. These days, visitors see an unpretentious but harmonious ensemble of Baroque buildings mainly dating back to the period from 1720 to 1780.
The Abbey Chapel is considerably older, with medieval structures still identifiable. The stained glass windows behind the altar are still the same as they were when they were first fitted in 1483; they have survived wars and building alterations without damage. The life-size wooden statue of Count Wale, according to legend the abbey's founder at the end of the 1st millennium, survived the fire of 1482 undamaged which claimed all other of the abbey's treasures.
These days, the Bambino is a special attraction for all visitors, particularly younger ones: an infant Jesus carved from wood more than 500 years ago, lovingly dressed in the 17th century by the Ladies of the Convent in a magnificent gown decorated with precious local river pearls.
Other treasures bearing witness to Christian faith and monastic tradition include a representation of the Last Supper carved from oak and painted, a reliquary with a garden of paradise, medieval stained glass windows with the founder's crest, and the Abbess' throne.
When leaving the Abbey Chapel, the eye is drawn to a particular memento mori: a clock face whose hands are always set at five to twelve.
The Abbey Garden, now a spacious park, is reserved for the Ladies of the Convent and only open to visitors on SPECIAL OCCASIONS The abbey buildings can only be visited as part of a guided tour, because they are inhabited. Dogs are not permitted.
Guided tours for GROUPS are also available outside of the usual tour schedule.