Einsiedeln is located in the heart of Central Switzerland close to Zurich. The Benedictine Abbey of Einsiedeln is the most important baroque building in Switzerland. Since the Middle Ages the Chapel of Our Lady with the famous “Black Madonna” has been one of the most significant pilgrimage places in Europe.
A monk called “Meinrad” came to this region to live as hermit. After his violent death in 861, a chapel was built at the site of his hermitage. This is the origin of the city’s name, which means hermitage.
The history of the Benedictine Abbey dates back to 934, when a monastic community was founded at the site of St. Meinrad’s hermitage. The pilgrimage to Our Lady of Einsiedeln and her miraculously dedicated chapel developed in the subsequent centuries and attracted pilgrims from all over Europe.
In 1466, the present statue of the Madonna was brought to Einsiedeln and the place became the most important Marian shrine in Switzerland as well as a place of worship, hospitality and culture.
In 1704 the foundations were laid for the abbey complex and the magnificent baroque abbey church was consecrated in 1735.
Even today, the abbey is the home to a dynamic monastic community following the Rule of Saint Benedict. The monks teach at the Abbey School numbering about 350 students, serve in several parishes, and are available for the spiritual needs of the pilgrims.
Einsiedeln offers many attractions, such as the show cheese factory Milchmanufaktur, two ski jumps, the gingerbread and mineral museums, or the Diorama and Panorama. In summer, the region is a paradise for hiking, biking or simply relaxing. Lake Sihl is popular for swimming, wind surfing, sailing, fishing or a cruise aboard “MS Angelika”. People who like to be active will enjoy winter here. Einsiedeln is a cross-country ski paradise and offers all kind of winter sports such as skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and walking. Traditions, culture, and sport are very important and always play a central role in numerous events.
Hospitality has a long tradition in Einsiedeln. The village with its many diverse shops, cafés and restaurants is ideal for leisurely strolls combined with good food and friendly encounters.
Big stories in a place with big stories: Welttheater 2020 will take place from June 17th to September 5th in Einsiedeln.