Rühn Cistercian Abbey

History

Equipped with a substantial amount of property, the Cistercian convent in Rühn was established as one of the first nunneries in Mecklenburg. As a care home for unmarried and widowed noblewomen, it survived the Reformation in the form of a Protestant convent. After dissolution in 1756, the site served as an administrative seat, residential building, hotel, rest home and a “Jugendwerkhof” (a GDR re-education institution for youths considered to display behavioural problems). Since 2005, the Rühn e.V. society has been dedicated to the renovation of the buildings and the cultural and economic revival of the site.

Site

At over 60 metres in length, Rühn Abbey is one of the most imposing abbey sites in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The church and further buildings form a three-winged complex. The single-naved, brick Gothic church was erected between 1250 and 1270, while the wooden bell tower, pulpit and altarpiece date from the post-Reformation period. Erected in 1260, the east wing initially housed all the necessary rooms of the cloistered nunnery. Running from the south wing to the church, a cloister originally closed off the enclosure to the west. The ancillary buildings were located outside this area.

Location

The landscape around the parish of Rühn is characterised by water. Situated between the River Warnow and the Rühner See, the area offers various opportunities, from boat tours and walking trails to fishing and bathing. There are several cycle paths, along the “Bützower Land” milk route, through the “Hohe Burg” and “Schwarzer See” nature reserve or to the “Boitiner Steintanz” megalithic tombs near Bützow.

Highlights

Besides church services, Rühn Abbey also offers anniversaries, festivals such as the “Festival of Apples” and the “Festival of Lights”, concerts, an annual medieval market and a yearly advent market. Guided tours through the site offer insights into the 775 year history of the old vaults, where the restless spirit of the “white nun” roams at night.

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