The Imagination

Anyone expecting a historic building in the middle of the forest will be taught otherwise.

Replica of the former monastery church

Above the tops of beech, oak and lime trees rises the partial reconstruction of the former Cistercian abbey "Schola Deï" ("School of God"). Every visitor to the Ihlow monastery site experiences the area in his or her own way. Anyone expecting a historic building in the middle of the forest will be taught otherwise.

Steel and wood recreate pillars, the vault and the roof turret of what was once the largest church between Bremen and Groningen. The dimensions of the former sacred building: almost 68 meters long and in the transept about 35 meters wide. In order to recreate this spatial experience, an "imagination" of the abbey was created in the middle of the forest through various architectural and artistic ideas. It gives guests an impressive impression of the former monastery complex, but at the same time offers their own imagination the opportunity to imagine how the monks once lived there.

The Romano-Gothic style of the reconstruction corresponds to that of the former monastery church. The vaulted ensemble reaches a ceiling height of around 25 meters. The top of the ridge turret - typical of Cistercian churches - lies at a height of almost 45 meters. The grounds are framed by evergreen walk-in walls - mats made of steel grids overgrown with ivy - they recreate the walls of the former brick church.

Another building block of the imagination is the underground space of the search for clues - a combination of exhibition space with archaeological excavation finds and site of reflection - with the new Ihlow altar.

The monastery garden adjoins the south side of the imagination. Here, shrubs, flowers, bushes and herbs are green and blooming in four themed gardens. Those who walk the eight paths can learn a lot about the effects and meaning of plants in the Middle Ages.

Sponsors of the Imagination

Gemeinde Ihlow