1200 years of cultural history – from the Carolingian bastion of faith to the baroque residence.
Those who explore Corvey are following in historically-exciting tracks. In the Höxter-Corvey museum’s permanent exhibitions at Schloss Corvey, visitors can experience the checkered history of the former imperial abbey.
Corvey in the Middle Ages
The journey through time begins with one of the most significant Carolingian monastic foundations of medieval Germany. The Benedictine abbey of Corvey was comparable to the Reichenau in Swabia and Fulda in Franconia. With the transfer of the relics of St. Stephen and Vitus, the abbey also became an important place of pilgrimage. From the 9th to the 12th century, the imperial abbey was seen as the spiritual, economic and cultural centre in northern Europe.
Corvey in the Baroque
Corvey flourished again in the baroque era when the prince-bishops determined life. With the construction of the abbey church from 1667 to 1674, Christoph Bernhard von Galen, Prince-Bishop of Münster and Corvey’s manager at the time, headed the largest construction period which the monastery would experience before 1740. With the conversion of the abbey into a baroque residence, the residing prince-bishops had a suitable setting for their representations. Elaborate plasterwork and ceiling murals were created, as well as a sumptuous fitting-out of the abbey church with baroque furnishings.
Corvey in the Biedermeier
A new era for Corvey began with the secular rulers at the beginning of the 19th century. The change from the prince-bishopric to the princely palace took place within the Biedermeier era. The historic residential rooms of the Landgrave Viktor Amadeus of Hesse-Rotenburg and his wife, Elise, are in the west-wing of the convent building and, with the furnishings and valuable French wallpapers, they display the style of late classicism and Biedermeier. Equally impressive is the princely library in the north-wing, whose basic inventory dates back to the Countess’s passion for collecting.