Cedynia Cistercian Abbey

History

Founded between 1250 and 1278 by the Ascanians, the Cistercian nunnery in Cedynia (German: Zehden) received confirmation from Pope Boniface VIII in 1295. As part of the Reformation, the convent was dissolved in 1555 and was run as a manor estate until 1822. Until 1611 there was also a nuns’ chapter on the site, and from 1641 an electoral hunting lodge. In the 19th century the buildings served as a royal post office. Inhabited until 1945, the buildings burnt down towards the end of World War II. Between 1997 and 2005 the Baroque west wing was restored and converted into a hotel.

Site

Archaeological excavations have shown that the complex was made up of a church and the east and west wings of the enclosure. The east wing was destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War, while the west wing was converted into a hunting lodge in 1641. Before burning down with other estate buildings during a fire in 1699, the abbey church continued to be used as an electoral church. The reconstructed estate complex remained unchanged until its destruction during World War II.

Location

Cedynia is the most westerly town in Poland, just 2 miles from the east bank of the Oder river. It is located in the Cedynia Landscape Park and just a short distance from the Lower Oder Valley International Park.

Highlights

Zehden Abbey is on the “European Route of the Cistercian Abbeys and Sites”. A hotel and restaurant is now housed within the restored walls of the abbey, whose inviting atmosphere makes an overnight stay particularly worthwhile. Located at the foot of Klosterberg hill, the town of Cedynia offers the impressive St. Mary’s parish church and numerous historic wine cellars. Striking vistas of the Oder landscape are possible from Góra Czcibora, a moraine hill 4 km west of the town.