Carmelite Monastery (Karmeliterkloster), Frankfurt

Carmelite Monastery (Karmeliterkloster), Frankfurt

Formerly the convent of the Carmelite order, from 1246 to 1803, the Karmeliterkloster today houses the Institute for the History of Frankfurt and the Archaeological Museum.

After the Carmelites established themselves in Frankfurt in the mid-13th century, the monastery quickly gained footing and soon proved to be one of the largest building complexes in the Old Town. In 1424, its original single-vessel church was remodeled to the late Gothic style, with a chapel and two-aisle refectory hall added. The latter was richly adorned with frescoes, the largest in Northern Europe, including the painted history of the Carmelite order and the depiction of Christ’s birth and death by Jorg Ratgeb (the 16th-century artist who was later cruelly executed for partaking in the German peasant revolution of 1525).

Following the secularization of Frankfurt in 1803, the city claimed all the monastery's possessions, including 25 hectares of vineyards in Hochheim am Main. Over the years, the convent's main building served as a warehouse, garrison, fire department, and theater. It was almost destroyed during World War II and its frescoes were severely damaged. The building was finally refurbished in 1987-1989.

Since 1959, the Carmelite Monastery has housed the Institute for the History of Frankfurt (formerly the municipal archives) and the Archaeological Museum (once known as the Museum of Prehistory and Early History). Also on the premises, in the basement, is a cabaret theater called Die Schmiere (The Grease), staging satirical plays and much loved by the local theater-goers.

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Carmelite Monastery (Karmeliterkloster) on Map

Sight Name: Carmelite Monastery (Karmeliterkloster)
Sight Location: Frankfurt, Germany (See walking tours in Frankfurt)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Frankfurt, Germany

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
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