Prenzlau Dominican Abbey

History

After obtaining approval for the foundation of a abbey in 1275, the Dominicans received an area of the margravial estate on which to build the complex. The land was situated in slightly elevated position above the Uckersee lake to the south west of the old town. By 1308 the convent was one of the richest Dominican monasteries in the region. In 1519, the site was damaged by fire, weakening it economically. The abbey was dissolved during the Reformation in 1554.

Site

The Dominican abbey was constructed in four phases between 1275 and 1500. The heart of the complex was formed by the enclosure buildings, the ancillary buildings and the three-aisled hall church – consecrated in 1343. This historical core has been fully preserved and renovated. With their Gothic architectural and decorative elements, the cloister, refectory and chapel are stylistically rooted in the “Cathedral Masons’ Guild of Brandenburg” and the “Masons’ Guild of Chorin”.

Location

Prenzlau is located close to the two largest lakes of the Uckermark region, the Oberuckersee and the Unteruckersee. The town borders the Uckermark Lakes Nature Park and the UNESCO Schorfheide-Chorin biosphere reserve. Prenzlau’s landmark is the twin-towered, three-aisled St. Mary’s church. Although almost totally destroyed in World War II, parts of the town’s medieval wall – with its towers and guard houses – can still be seen.

Highlights

Today, the historical site houses the museum of cultural history, the town archive, the municipal library and an event venue. The triple and quadruple lancet windows and the elaborate north portal of the Gothic abbey church are of particular interest, as are the medieval murals in the refectory. Regular concerts take place in the cloistered courtyard, while the cloister garden offers an ideal place to relax.