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Weihenstephan Abbey

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Wening weihenstephan

Engraving of Weihenstephan Abbey by Michael Wening in Topographia Bavariae, about 1700

Weihenstephan Abbey (Kloster Weihenstephan) was a Benedictine monastery in Weihenstephan, now part of Freising district, in Bavaria, Germany.


Saint Corbinian, whose arrival in Freising is dated at around 720, founded a church of Saint Stephen here, with a monk's cell attached to it, which seems to have disappeared again before the end of the 8th century. The monastery proper, dedicated at first to Saint Vitus, later to Saints Stephen and Michael, was founded by Bishop Hitto von Freising in approximately 811–835. From then until 1020 or 1021 it was a monastery of Augustinian canons. From 1021 it was a Benedictine abbey.

The abbey was dissolved in 1803 during the secularisation of Bavaria and its property sold off. In 1810 the abbey church, which had been made into a parish church, was demolished.


In the autumn of 1803 the Forestry School of Munich was moved into the empty buildings; at the same time a model farm was established. A large part of the previous abbey economy, with buildings and stables as well as forests and fields, was transferred to the forestry school or the model farm. From 1804 agricultural science was taught here by Max Schönleutner.

But as early as 1807 both schools were wound up, as many teachers and students had taken part in Napoleon's invasion of Russia, from which few had returned. In 1852 the agricultural school was re-established in Weihenstephan and in 1895 became an agricultural college, which formed the nucleus of the Technical University of Munich life sciences campus in Freising.



Weihenstephan at "Haus der 100 Biere" in Berlin

The Weihenstephan Brewery can trace its roots at the abbey to the year 768, as a document from that year refers to a hop garden in the area paying a tithe to the monastery. A brewery was actually licensed by the City of Freising in 1040, and that is the founding date claimed by today's modern brewery. The brewery thus has a creditable claim to being the oldest working brewery in the world.[1] (Weltenburg Abbey, also in Bavaria, was founded around 620, and also claims to be the oldest brewery in the world.) When the monastery and brewery were secularised under Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803, they became possessions of the State of Bavaria. Since 1923, the brewery has been known as the Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan (in German Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan), and is operated in conjunction with the Technical University of Munich as both a state-of-the-art production facility and a centre for learning.[2]

The brewery produces a range of pale lagers and wheat beers including Weihenstephaner Weissbier, a 5.4% abv weissbier which is available in filtered (Kristall)[3] and unfiltered (Hefe)[4] versions.[5] The strongest beers the brewery produces are Vitus (a 7.7% abv wheat beer) and Korbinian (a 7.4% abv strong lager or bock).[6][7]

See also

The city of Weihenstephan


  1. "Indulge in the Bavarian Weiss",, Michael Jackson, September 2, 1998.
  2. Weihenstephan Brewery website
  3. "Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan - Ratebeer". Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  4. "Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier - Brauerei Weihenstephan - BeerAdvocate". Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  5. Rubin, Josh (June 04, 2008). "Bavaria still bottling monks' wheat brew". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 28, 2009. 
  7. RateBeer

External links

Coordinates: 48°23′43″N 11°43′42″E / 48.3951388889°N 11.7283333333°E / 48.3951388889; 11.7283333333

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