In Asbeck, a district of the small municipality of Legden, the then Münster bishop Werner von Steußlingen had an imposing double monastery built between 1132 and 1151. Originally planned for nuns and brothers of the Premonstratensian Order, it was firmly in women's hands after a few years.
As early as 1173, the double monastery became a purely nunnery before it was converted into a ladies' convent in the 16th century. The most famous lady of Asbeck was Therese von Zant, who belonged to the convent from 1783 until its dissolution. She came to prominence as Beethoven's supposed mistress. Her two sons also became composers. A separate cabinet is dedicated to her, which is now located in the Hun Gate of the former abbey grounds. Altogether, the monastery existed until 1805 and then became the property of the Prince of Salm Horstmar.
The Romanesque dormitory is particularly worth seeing today: built around 1200, it is one of the few examples of Romanesque secular architecture in north-west Germany and houses, among other things, the Asbeck Abbey Museum.
Today, the time of the noble abbey ladies has long been a thing of the past. But what remains is the great wealth of valuable church treasures that bring the history of the monastery to life. Impressive goldsmith's art next to jewels from the tradition-rich history of pilgrimage: a visit to the former abbey should not be complete without a tour of the museum in the former dormitory.
Asbeck Abbey is currently closed. Guided tours are not offered.