The Dalheim Monastery Foundation. The LWL Country Museum of Monastic Culture

A medieval convent, an Augustine canon, at its peak in the Baroque era, then a Prussian state domain and a manor farm – after 550 years of a vivid past, the Monastery of Dalheim has entered into a new epoch of its history. Today it is the venue of a museum of monastic culture that is unique in Germany. Significant and precious exhibits are displayed in the premises of this almost completely retained monastic estate, which has sustained its impressive power and its tranquillity until today. With its Gothic cloister, its 2,000 square metres of monastic gardens and the newly designed exhibition rooms, the Dalheim Monastery Foundation. LWL Country Museum of Monastic Culture invites its visitors to discover the fascinating world of monastic culture. “Ora et labora” (pray and work), music and drama, food and drink, significant art treasures and the art of construction, book binding and gardening are all part of this.

Permanent and changing exhibitions show how monasteries have played a significant role in the development in Europe over the centuries until today – how in addition to their outstanding importance as religious centres and mediators of Christianity they were also places of education, of research, of art and of economic development in complete regions.

From 29 October 2010, the museum presents a comprehensive exhibition displaying almost 1,700 years of monastic culture across 2,000 square metres of new exhibition ground; the exhibition is titled “Eingetreten!” (step inside). The title in this case having a double meaning, as it does not only imply stepping into a new epoch of the Dalheim museum, but also probably the most important step in the life of every woman and man entering a religious order. Stepping inside a monastery to join the order means leaving behind one’s former life in order to begin a new life within the monastic community.

This has been the course of monastic culture for the past 1,700 years. The LWL Country Museum reflects on the history and the diversity of monastic culture in its new permanent exhibition. The former Dalheim Monastery with its medieval cloister is the most important exhibit. Based on the historic characteristics, the premises and their function can be experienced with the help of modern means and staging; for instance the conference room, the dining hall, the study or the heating room and the library or the food storage room in the cellar. They take you on a journey into the world of a (medieval) monastery. The exhibition in the newly designed upper floor of the southern and eastern wing puts its emphasis on the historic development of religious orders: From the Desert Fathers and the first monastic communities, the reforms of monasticism right through to the present time.

Productions by the award winning multimedia artist, Peter Hans Felzmann depict and explain the monastic plan of St. Gallen and show us the life and the rules of St. Benedict and the story of the Creation using state-of-the-art media techniques. Film material, documentaries and interviews show the life of the order of yesterday and today. Regular events bring the most diverse facets of monastic culture to life in the Dalheim Monastery. For the past ten years, the ‘Dalheim Summer’ has attracted music and theatre to the monastery in August and September. At the last weekend in August, Europe’s largest monastic market invites visitors into the Dalheim Monastery.



Tue-Sun: 10:00 – 18:00 hrs all year
With the exception of 24th, 25th and 31st December


Lichtenau-Dalheim, Am Kloster 9


Tourist-Information der Stadt Lichtenau
Am Kloster 9
33165 Lichtenau-Dalheim
Telefon 05292 9319225
Telefax 05292 9319226