Despite their solitude, the monastery ruins at Paulinzella are an insider’s tip for lovers of Romanesque architecture. Even from a distance, the monumental monastery church ruins, which belong to the most important Romanesque buildings in Germany, are impressive.
The monastery, with its original name Marienzella, was grounded by the Saxon aristocrat Paulina (1067 - 1107) following the prescription of the Hirschau Reform. In 1105-06, the fundament was laid and a part of the presbytery built. The three-aisled basilica was consecrated in 1124 following the completion of the nave. Following this came the expansion of the subsequent ante-church to the west of the nave and the double-towered annex as the western end of the church construction. It is thought that these components were finished by 1160. To the south, the four-sided cloister was joined to the surrounding monastery buildings.
With the adoption of the Reformation, the monastery was dissolved and the buildings passed into the jurisdiction of the counts of Schwarzburg. From 1542, district offices were established in the monastery, and later from 1600, a hunting lodge, during which time the buildings fell into disrepair. From 1800, the monastery received increasing attention due to an awakening interest in the Middle Ages. Past visitors to the ruins include Schiller and Goethe.
Every summer, a cultural spectacle of a unique kind takes place in the monastery ruins: the Kulturfestival.
Monastery, Forestry and Hunting History Museum:
The Hunting Lodge today houses the Monastery, Forestry and Hunting History Museum, a branch of the Thuringian State Museum Heidecksburg in Rudolstadt.
On an area of 350 m², the museum depicts the history of the former Benedictine monastery, refers to the importance of the forest use, and describes the development of hunting and forestry in the principality Schwarzburg / Rudolstadt.
In addition, the Hunting Lodge also temporarily houses the exhibition “From Flint Axe to Chainsaw”. The exhibition will return to the Forestry Commission Office following the completion of renovation work there. The exhibition provides an overview of the development of forestry techniques from simple hand tools to chain saws.
Tourist-Information im Jagdschloss Paulinzella (open from April-October)
OT Paulinzella Nr. 3