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© Stadtarchiv Nürnberg A60_I_301


Former monastery as an open-air concert venue

Who doesn’t know it, the Katharinenruine in the heart of the Nuremberg Old Town – a ruin with much charm and great acoustics, venue for many open-air performances, festivals and concerts? But what stood on this historical location in the past and why are there only the remains of walls today? It’s worth a look back.

St. Catherine’s Abbey is a former Dominican women’s convent in Nuremberg, which was famous for its medieval library. It was of particular importance in the 15th century when a flourishing spiritual and intellectual life developed within the abbey. This gave it a leading position among the Dominican women’s institutions. No other could match its one-of-a-kind library. After the Free Imperial City of Nuremberg decided to become Lutheran in 1525, the convent was doomed, because after the Reformation it could no longer take on novices. With the death of the last nun in 1596, the abbey was dissolved.

And today? After its ruins were stabilized in 1970/71, the former abbey church of St. Catherine has become a venue for events such as the St. Catherine Open Air, Bardentreffen World Music Festival, the Summer Night Film Festival and more – all due to its special acoustics. It’s worth a visit!

The convent was almost completely destroyed by bombing in 1945 – in addition to the Katharinenruine there are only the enclosing wall and the cloister, which is now part of the city library.

The Hexenhäusle

The Hexenhäusle