Klosterruine Limburg – Monastery in Bad Durkheim Germany

Thank you for coming back to the next part of a great day we had when we first visited Weisenheim am Berg. As we finished that part of the day we decided to go to a store that one of my colleagues wanted to go to and since it was closer than the Klopp Castle we headed that way first. The store was in Bad Duerkheim, what an unusual name. Bad means bath and the city is a spa town because of the 7 mineral springs. It is called a “Brine Spa” due to the springs.

We stopped before we got to the store we were looking for to look at an interesting restaurant, It is in the shape of a wine Barrel. The largest Barrel I have ever seen. We walked into a souvenir shop where I found a couple of postcards for Cheyenne. After paying for them I asked the gentleman about one of them, his answer was oh it is just down the street. It is called the Limburg Abby.

The 3 of us looked at each other and our plans changed again. It took a little while to find the proper roads to navigate up to it but we did. After parking and walking up a well-worn dirt path, and passing several elderly people… side note- they do a lot of walking in this country young and old. They have walking paths that go along the roads and even separate bike paths. I see a lot of elderly with walkers on wheels walking down the side of the road going places.

This area was settled between 1200 and 500 BC by the Celts. The town was first mentioned in history in June of 778 asTurnesheim. In 1025 the construction of the Abby started. In 1689 the French almost destroyed the city during the Nine Years’ War. We spent over an hour looking at the outside walls the inside of the Abbey which is called a monastery now. They don’t build, buildings like these anymore that is for sure. This impressive ruin is the Klosterruine Limburg.  Long before these stones stood one atop the other Celtic princes back circa 500 BC made these majestic forests their homes and built a fortress here.

Later in the 9th Century AD the Salian Dukes (Dukes of the Frankish dynasty that all became Emperor’s of the Holy Roman Empire) from Worms, Germany built a castle here on the Linthberg as their family seat to protect them from the Slavs, Normans, and the Hungarians.  When Conrad II (Konrad, son of Otto I) and his wife Gisella (from the line of Charles the Great) took the to the throne on September 8, 1024, he decreed that their family castle be made into a Benedictine Monastery and remained a monastery until the middle of the 16th century.
This is what is left of this beautiful place in Bad Durkheim, Germany.  This was also known as the Abbey to the Holy Cross or the Monastery Limburg.

This ruin sits like a crown high above the river Isenach and the eastern edge of the magical Palatinate Forest.
Princess Guinheld of Denmark was sent here to Germany as a young 5 yr old child sent by her father King Cnut (Canute) of Denmark as a promise and oath of peace on the Danish border to live with the Emperor Conrad II and his consort Gisela of Swabia. She was formally engaged to their son Henry the III during Pentecost in Bamburg, Germany in 1035. They married in Nijmegen, Netherlands in 1036 where she changed her name to her German name Kunigunde.

Later, Guinheld was accused of adultery and was sent to trial by combat. When her champion won and she was cleared she disdained the victory and became a nun. Not long after that she and her husband reconciled their relationship.
In December of 1038, Emperor Conrad was sent to Italy on a campaign.  His wife, Henry and Gunhilda stayed behind but he later sent word that things were not going well and he needed Henry’s assistance.  Gunhilda was pregnant at the time and went with her husband on the campaign.  While in Italy, Gunhilda gave birth to their only child, a daughter named Beatrice ( Beatrice later became the abbess of Quedlinburg and Gandersheim.) Upon their journey home, an epidemic that some say may have been malaria broke out among the soldiers and many died.  Gunhilda and Duke Herman IV of Swabia also contracted the illness and died on the journey.  They carried her body home and buried her here. The photo above is her grave marker.  Her husband Edward was not made King of Germany in her lifetime but after his father, Emperor Conrad died so Gunhilda was never crowned the Queen of Germany.
Gunhilda’s father was very well known. I remember teaching the girls about the story of Canute and the waves when they were little. Do you know the story?
As I recall King Canute was being fawned over by his courtiers about how powerful he was. So, he had his throne taken to the seaside and sat there the crown on his head, the shore filled with courtiers and in royal robes.  He commanded the waves not to wet his royal feet or robes but the tide (as the tide tends to do) rolled in.  The king then rebuked the courtiers and told them (this is not a direct quote mind you) that the power of kings is empty and worthless compared to the power of God and that none deserved even the name of King except for the one that the heaven, earth, and sea obey. It is told then that he removed his crown and hung it on a cross and never wore it again.
And here I am standing at the place his child rests on the other side of the world and I shared his story with my own children. Isn’t it strange how things work and where God brings us on our life journey?

The sheer size of the ruin is truly impressive and makes you imagine what this place looked like when it was newly built.

In 1030 Emperor Conrad laid the cornerstone for the building. Can you imagine? It is said that it is the same day he laid the cornerstone for the Speyer Cathedral.

It was here at this monastery on December 3, 1038, that the decision was made regarding the dates of Advent. It was made in the presence of the Emperor Conrad II (Konrad) and Gisella (his wife) that the dates of the Advent season would be from November 27th to December the 3rd and are to this day.


When we started looking out past the back of the Monastery we found our next destination. That destination is….. you will have come back to read about it. Thank you for touring this beautiful country with me and until next time…. Have a blessed day
Please click below to see the video of the rest of this amazing place.

Before you check out our other Germany travels:

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