Eldena monastery ruins

  • Freely accessible at any time

Eldena monastery ruins, © Gudrun Koch
Parks and Gardens, Monuments and Sights, Brick Gothic

The monastery ruins and park are a popular excursion destination for Greifswald residents and their guests. The monastery ruins are also the starting and finishing point of the themed cycle path "Route of North German Romanticism", which traces the stations and lives of the North German Romantics of Western Pomerania.

Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) made the ruins of the medieval Cistercian monastery of Eldena widely known with his paintings and drawings. The remains of the once important monastery are embedded in a park with old trees, including 180-year-old oaks, which illustrate Friedrich's ideas and characterize the romantic atmosphere of the grounds. The main accent of the ruins is the imposing west façade of the former monastery church with its high ogival window opening.

The Hilda (Eldena) monastery was founded in 1199 after Cistercian monks were forced to abandon their monastery in Dargun as a result of armed conflict. The new monastery was built to the east of the future town of Greifswald, at the mouth of the River Ryck into the Danish Wiek. In 1248, the "oppidum Gripheswald" was first mentioned in a document among the monastery's possessions and in 1250, today's Greifswald was granted town charter. The monastery ruins are located in the Eldena district, in the immediate vicinity of the fishing village of Wieck and the Greifswald Bodden.
In the Middle Ages, Eldena was the most important monastery in the region, the economic and spiritual center of the area and reached its heyday around 1400. From the early 13th century to the beginning of the 15th century, it was structurally designed to reflect its importance. The monastery existed until the Reformation in the region in 1533 and subsequently fell into disrepair.
In 1634, the University of Greifswald received the Office of Eldena from the last Duke of Pomerania, Bogislaw XIV, and with it the monastery grounds and associated land. After plundering by imperial and Swedish troops during the Thirty Years' War, the remains of the medieval monastery complex fell into disrepair. From the second half of the 17th century, they were even used as a quarry for fortifications and university buildings in Greifswald.
The rescue of the complex is largely due to the intervention of the Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm (1795-1861, later King Friedrich Wilhelm IV), who was enthusiastic about romantic ideas. In 1827, he found the ruins in a dilapidated state. As a result, the first clearing and restoration work was carried out between 1828 and 1832 and a park was laid out to make the site accessible. Oak trees were planted in place of the missing nave pillars. The merging of the eternally recurring nature with the venerable architectural evidence of an irretrievably past time carries a profound symbolism that also captivates today's visitors at all times of the year and day.
Caspar David Friedrich, born in Greifswald in 1774, made the Eldena monastery ruins world-famous. He is now regarded as the most important painter and draughtsman of the early German Romantic period and used sketches of the monastery ruins as models for his paintings "Winter", "Monastery Ruins in the Giant Mountains" and "Abbey in Eichwald", among others. Some of his works are on display in the Pomeranian State Museum. In the Caspar David Friedrich Center in Greifswald's city centre, you can experience the life and work of the painter in an impressive way.
The post-Reformation history of the estate includes the expansion of the Amtsgut and the founding of an agricultural academy in 1835, which existed until 1876. The remaining monastery buildings were also used for agricultural purposes.
The monastery ruins have been owned by the University and Hanseatic City of Greifswald since 1937. Nowadays, the monastery ruins and the surrounding park are a popular local recreation area, a landmark of the town and a backdrop for filming and various events. In summer, there are regular theater performances, the Eldena Monastery Market (since 2014), the Eldena Jazz Evenings (since 1981) and other concerts and events. The monastery ruins are a stop on the Caspar David Friedrich Picture Trail and the European Route of Brick Gothic.
Parking & directions: https://www.greifswald.de/de/freizeit-kultur/veranstaltungen/maerkte/klostermarkt/anfahrt-klosterruine-eldena/

Route of North German Romanticism: Eldena monastery ruins - Friedrich's favorite motif
Caspar David Friedrich was born in Greifswald on September 5, 1774 and is considered the most important painter and draughtsman of early German Romanticism. In his paintings "Winter" and "Abbey in Eichwald", he used sketches of the ruins of Eldena Abbey as models, making them world-famous. During his visits home, Caspar David Friedrich constantly rediscovered the architecture of the monastery ruins. He drew it from all perspectives. The high west façade was of particular interest to him, as it forms the focal point of many of his works. His paintings brought the ruins into the public eye. This is the starting and finishing point of the themed cycle route "Route of North German Romanticism".

Picture gallery

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Contact

Klosterruine Eldena

Wolgaster Landstraße 41
17493 Greifswald


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Klosterruine Eldena
Wolgaster Landstraße 41
17493 Greifswald



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Opening hours
Freely accessible at any time

Events

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© Kulturamt Greifswald

Romeo and Juliet

  • Date: 6/7/24 to 7/18/24
  • Wolgaster Landstraße, 17493 Greifswald

by William Shakespeare Tragedy in 5 acts

Read more: "Romeo and Juliet"
© Amt für Bildung, Kultur & Sport Greifswald / (c) Philipp Schroeder (Lensescape.org)

ELDENA JAZZ EVENINGS GREIFSWALD

  • Date: 7/5/24 to 7/6/24
  • Wolgaster Landstraße, 17493 Greifswald

Top-class jazz in the magical atmosphere of old walls and trees in the Eldena monastery ruins.

Read more: "ELDENA JAZZ EVENINGS GREIFSWALD"
© © Nikolaj Lund

SIGNUMs & Friends

  • Date: 7/12/24
  • Wolgaster Landstraße, 17493 Greifswald

Piazzolla - Bach - Gershwin

Read more: "SIGNUMs & Friends"
© Kulturamt Greifswald

Romeo and Juliet

  • Date: 6/7/24 to 7/18/24
  • Wolgaster Landstraße, 17493 Greifswald

by William Shakespeare Tragedy in 5 acts

Read more: "Romeo and Juliet"
© Amt für Bildung, Kultur & Sport Greifswald / (c) Philipp Schroeder (Lensescape.org)

ELDENA JAZZ EVENINGS GREIFSWALD

  • Date: 7/5/24 to 7/6/24
  • Wolgaster Landstraße, 17493 Greifswald

Top-class jazz in the magical atmosphere of old walls and trees in the Eldena monastery ruins.

Read more: "ELDENA JAZZ EVENINGS GREIFSWALD"
© © Nikolaj Lund

SIGNUMs & Friends

  • Date: 7/12/24
  • Wolgaster Landstraße, 17493 Greifswald

Piazzolla - Bach - Gershwin

Read more: "SIGNUMs & Friends"
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© Antje Viergutz

Indoor playground "kunti-bunt"

  • Open today
  • An der Thronpost, 17489 Greifswald

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Read more: "Indoor playground "kunti-bunt""
© Vincent Leifer

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  • Mühlenblick, 17509 Hanshagen

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Read more: "Watermill Hanshagen"
© Pommersches Landesmuseum / André Gschweng

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  • Open today
  • Rakower Str., 17489 Greifswald

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Read more: "Pomeranian State Museum"
© Caspar-David-Friedrich-Gesellschaft e. V., ©2021 Gudrun Koch

Caspar David Friedrich Center

  • Open today
  • Lange Straße, 17489 Greifswald

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Read more: "Caspar David Friedrich Center"
© surflocal.de

Surfspot Lubmin

  • Freely accessible at any time
  • 17509 Lubmin

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Read more: "Surfspot Lubmin"
© TMV/Gohlke

Surfspot Ludwigsburg

  • Freely accessible at any time
  • 17509 Ludwigsburg

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Read more: "Surfspot Ludwigsburg"
© nautic vr

Nautic VR - Experience virtual reality

  • Open today
  • Lange Reihe, 17489 Greifswald

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Read more: "Nautic VR - Experience virtual reality"
© TMV/Gohlke

Village Church Groß Kiesow

  • Schulstraße, 17495 Groß Kiesow

The Church dates from the 13th century and is built of stone and brick. Next to the church begins a pilgrim path, which is signposted with 8 stations.

Read more: "Village Church Groß Kiesow"
© surflocal.de

Loissin surf spot

  • Freely accessible at any time
  • 17509 Loissin

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Read more: "Loissin surf spot"
© Dörte Wolfgramm-Stühmeyer

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  • Open today
  • Zum alten Mischplatz, 17498 Levenhagen

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Read more: "Regional store WOLFGRAMM"
© Gudrun Koch

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  • Domstraße, 17489 Greifswald

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Read more: "University of Greifswald"
© Gudrun Koch

Caspar-David-Friedrich-Bildweg

  • Rathaus/Markt, 17489 Greifswald

Discover the almost authentic pictorial motifs of the artist born in Greifswald - Caspar David Friedrich. At vantage points, which Friedrich chose as motifs for his works and which are still preserved today, you can recreate the typical Friedrich mood.

Read more: "Caspar-David-Friedrich-Bildweg"
© Gudrun Koch

Caspar-David-Friedrich-Bildweg

Discover the almost authentic pictorial motifs of the artist born in Greifswald - Caspar David Friedrich. At vantage points, which Friedrich chose as motifs for his works and which are still preserved today, you can recreate the typical Friedrich mood.

Read more: "Caspar-David-Friedrich-Bildweg"
© Gudrun Koch

Marketplace of the University and Hanseatic City of Greifswald

  • Freely accessible at any time
  • Markt, 17489 Greifswald

The development of the town of Greifswald began with the founding of Hilda Monastery. The town was first mentioned in a document in 1248 and received its town charter in 1250. The market square is the heart of the historic old town. Caspar David Friedrich painted the market square with a view of the Ratsapotheke and part of the town hall as a watercolor - on display in the Pomeranian State Museum.

Read more: "Marketplace of the University and Hanseatic City of Greifswald"
© Gudrun Koch

Greifswald barrage

  • Am Ryck, 17493 Greifswald

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