Altzella Abbey, also Altzelle Abbey (German: Kloster Altzella or Altzelle, previously Cella or Cella Sanctae Mariae) is a former Cistercian monastery near Nossen in Saxony, Germany. The former abbey contains the tombs of the Wettin margraves of Meissen from 1190 to 1381. The premises and gardens, surrounded by the precinct wall of the former monastery, and known as the Klosterpark Altzella, are now maintained by the Schloss Nossen/Kloster Altzella Administration, and consist of a Romantic park, ruins and restored buildings, used for various cultural and religious functions, such as Corpus Christi processions. It also hosts conferences and private functions.
Additional access information for wheelchair users and persons with reduced mobility:
- Visitor Information with Public WC for wheelchair users and café is accessible via 1 step of 11 cm and door >90 cm
- WC for wheelchair users: Door 81 cm, 200x106 cm in front of and 86 cm beside the WC
- The park paths are well suitable for wheelchairs
- Assistance is required
- The Monastery is not easily accessible for wheelchair users
Otto the Rich, Margrave of Meissen, deserved his name: he achieved his considerable wealth through the discovery of silver ore in what is now Freiberg, and this was the basis for Saxony’s successful economic development right up to the 20th century. In 1162 Otto was given permission by the German Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa to found a monastery that was also to become his family tomb. With the arrival of Cistercian monks in 1175 began the history of Cella Sanctae Mariae Abbey, today known as Altzella. Up to 250 monks lived in the monastery, which was dissolved in 1540 after the Reformation. The Saxon court adopted the holding, the important library was transferred to the University of Leipzig and the monastery buildings were used for building materials. It was not until 1676 that Elector John George II took over the remains of the monastery and had a new funeral chapel built to commemorate his ancestors, and it was only in 1804 that this was completed in the Classical style. During this time, a Romantic landscape park was created, which incorporated the remaining buildings and ruins and inspired many artists of the 19th century. In the completely preserved Konversenhaus, the lay brothers’ dormitory, there are exhibitions about the Order of the Cistercians and their architecture and about book production in the monastery. There is also a hostel for visitors. A symbol of the history of the abbey is the abbey portal – as a result of fills, it has sunk five feet deep into the earth, but its size is still impressive.