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A jewel of Romanesque architecture and Baroque artistic style, two steps away from the Alsace Wine Route. The church of the former 12th century Benedictine Abbey of St. Cyriacus is still in mint condition and stands proudly in the town center of Altorf.
Visitors can visit this wonder of architectural harmony, as well as the reliquary bust of St. Cyriacus himself, every day for free. On Sunday afternoon, Friends of the Abbey volunteers even welcome visitors to the beautiful garden of the cloister. It has been reorganized thematically into three parts: the orchard, the vegetable garden (or Hortus) and the medicinal garden (or Herbularius).
The Benedictine Abbey was founded by Hugh III, Count of Eguisheim in 974 (same family tree as the Alsatian Pope Leo IX, who blessed the abbey's altar in 1054).
Two styles of architecture are featured in the inner sanctum: the Romanesque nave from the 12th - 13th century, and the Baroque transept and choir from the 18th century.
Inside, the choir is bathed in sunlight, thanks to nine bay windows. An oak chest contains the reliquary bust of St. Cyriacus, the church's best kept treasure. It was Pope Leo IX who, when he came to Altorf, brought the "arm" of St. Cyriacus as a relic. The latter thus was named Patron Saint of the abbey, which became a place of pilgrimage for people suffering from epilepsy, fever and neurological disorders.
The church houses another masterpiece: a magnificent Silbermann organ from 1730, with a finely crafted oak casing.
In the gardens of the cloister, the visitors will be attending the monk-gardeners' school. A safe haven where stands a beautiful well of the Renaissance period, and visitors are lead on a spiritual path with the help of numerous explanatory panels illustrating the motto of St. Benedict: "Ora et Labora" ("Pray and work").
Groups can book a guided tour at the Tourist Office all year long (entrance fee)
- Altitude : 171m
- Nearest train station : 3 km - Dachstein
- Type of visits proposed : Free visit, Guided tour for groups with reservation
- Practical services : Group reception
- Effectif groupe : Mini, Maxi