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Dalheim Museum of Abbey Culture
Europe's first museum devoted to abbeys and abbey culture

Europe's first museum of abbey culture opened in 2007 in the Augustinian abbey in Dalheim in Westphalia. Although the former canon seminary from the 15th century is of great interest in its own right, the baroque west wing also houses an exhibition charting monastic life at the abbey and featuring a collection of relics spanning many centuries.
The museum documents 1,200 years of abbey culture in Europe. On the guided tour, visitors find out what an abbey actually is, how it works, and the ways in which abbeys have influenced society right through to the present day. From the Abbot's Gallery, in particular, it is clear that monastic life meant more than just abstinence and asceticism.
Artefacts illustrative of religious devotion and life at the abbey in the baroque era show that it was a time of compassion and profundity, but also one of great beauty and splendour. The exhibition also explores the dissolution of the monasteries and the fate of the former members of the order, the servants and the abbey buildings.
More than 200 exquisite items from the treasuries of regional churches and abbeys are on display in an exhibition space of almost 1,000 square metres. Highlights include vestments embroidered with gold and silver, liturgical artefacts set with precious stones, reliquaries and beautifully crafted monstrances, life-sized figurative processions and a 13-piece toiletry set which once belonged to an abbess. The strict daily routine of the monks and nuns is fascinating for all ages and can be discovered on guided tours, courses and special themed days.
Open all year round, closed on Mondays and public holidays, guided tours available.



A33, A44, B68, train station: Paderborn, bus service