One of southern Germany's largest Cistercian monasteries

Salem Monastery and Palace

From the abbots' residence to Baden's palace

The Prelature

From the outside, the Prelature is the mirror image of the convent building. However on the inside, it is arranged like a palace – and this is where the abbot resided. No wonder that the margraves and grand dukes of Baden were happy to move into quarters here following secularization.

Salem Monastery and Palace, the Prelature; Photo: Hermann Böhne

After the fire: rebuilt in just ten years

A new building as a sign of power

Following a huge fire during the night of 9 March 1697, which almost completely destroyed the imperial abbey, Abbot Emanuel Sulger ordered the Vorarlberg architect Franz Beer to rebuild the monastery. In just ten years, the architect built the 180 meter long complex comprising the Prelature and convent building, symmetrically divided by central and corner pavilions. Monks lived in the convent building while the abbot lived in the Prelature. The magnificent rooms emphasize the abbey's standing.

Salem Monastery and Palace, visitors in the drawing room; Photo: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Niels Schubert

A playful space to receive guests.

Abbot Anselm's drawing room

Abbot Anselm II Schwab had the drawing room arranged in 1764 by Johann Georg Dirr. Quite the opposite of pompous, the Rococo style room appears rather playful. Stucco décor, a cycle of paintings about the life of Christ, two grandfather clocks and a beautiful parquet floor: this was how the abbot received his guests. A painting by Andreas Brugger above the door in the anteroom depicts the monastery fire of 1697. Green tendrils and gilded muscular figures adorn the secretary's adjacent room.

Portrait of Prince Max von Baden; Photo: Haus Baden

Salem became the residence of the house of Baden.

From Prelature to royal residence

In 1802, margrave Carl Friedrich von Baden took ownership of the former imperial abbey of Salem. He was on friendly terms with the last abbot Caspar Oexle who then managed the estate. His son Ludwig also preferred to stay in Salem before becoming a grand duke in 1818. Prince Max von Baden turned the former Prelature into the house's main residence in 1920. In 2009, the von Baden family sold the Salem Monastery and Palace to the province of Baden-Württemberg.

TIPP

Among the delicate stucco in the reception room you can see a lion with a crozier and the 'S' for Salem.

Other highlights of Salem Monastery and Palace