The future of the monastery was obviously hanging by a thread.
But now the community wants to join.
She has big plans for the monastery property.
- Imagine that next year Bernried will catch up with the 900th anniversary of his monastery, which has been postponed due to the corona - and the same no longer exists.
As has now been made public, this scenario almost occurred.
“We have actually already come to the conclusion to close the education house.
It was just before close, ”reported Sister Mechthild Hommel to the local council.
Together with Prioress Ruth Schönenberger, the nun informed about the current situation.
The Missionary Benedictine Sisters have been looking for a sustainable future concept for the monastery and educational center for around six years.
The concerns of the next generation in the congregation and the increasing challenges that arise in the maintenance of the monastery properties brought the nuns more and more to their capacity limits.
Fire protection in particular caused concern.
The Missionary Benedictine Sisters do not talk about numbers, but compliance with the official requirements would have meant an investment volume worth millions.
The monastery has shaped us.
Bernried would be completely different today if it weren't there.
Mayor Georg Malterer
When the district office got serious, it was more or less clear to the nuns: The education center will be closed until the end of the year.
The search for alternative operator models and investors was also unsuccessful for a long time.
The pool of interested parties ranged from universities and clinics to luxury hoteliers.
Most recently, an applicant came forward who wanted to open a high-priced fasting hotel with overnight rates of up to 500 euros.
But none of this suited the character of the monastery.
Even if it was always clear that the community would have had a significant say in investor models through its land-use planning sovereignty, the city hall was concerned that the monastery might be lost in its idealistic effect on village life.
The monastery gives the place its identity - beyond its structural function: “The monastery has shaped us.
Bernried would be completely different today if it weren't there, ”stated Mayor Georg Malterer in the council meeting.
For a long time it seemed unthinkable and unrealistic that the congregation could take over the monastery itself.
But in his first few weeks in office, Malterer developed a bold plan in cooperation with his predecessor Josef Steigenberger: the community bought the monastery and converted the east wing into the location for the primary school.
No contracts signed yet, but negotiations are well advanced
Steigenberger and Malterer ran into open doors for the Missionary Benedictine Sisters when they presented the concept.
A few days later, in early July, the order would otherwise have started to implement the closure resolution.
“We came at the right time,” said former Mayor Steigenberger in the local council: “We were not aware of the urgency.
In retrospect, the circumstances were fortunate. ”Even if no contracts have yet been signed, the negotiations are well advanced.
Steigenberger and Malterer speak of a “fantastic opportunity for the community” and a “Bernried project”, respectively.
For a long time the development of the village infrastructure has been discussed in internal closed meetings.
A central point was always the expansion or the new construction of the primary school.
The spatial capacities on the Binselberg are limited - especially since the neighboring children's house and the fire brigade need more space.
The community can receive state funding for the renovation of the monastery
With the acquisition of the monastery - the parties agreed not to disclose the possible purchase price - the community would, as Malterer put it, “divert investments” that would have been due anyway.
Instead of a new school building or an extension, the east wing of the monastery is now being rebuilt - and a large part of the fire protection problem is solved in the process.
The lucrative thing about the variant: For the conversion into a school building - Steigenberger expects construction costs of six to seven million euros - the municipality can get state funding.
The old primary school will then be made available for childcare.
The “Bernried Project” and the monastery purchase were well received by the local council.
The 30 or so visitors who had come to the summer cellar meeting gave plenty of applause when Malterer had explained the “direction”: “It takes a load off my heart.
Now we can finally discuss openly. ”The matter had been kept under wraps for weeks.
As early as the end of July, the local council had passed a unanimous decision in principle to buy the three-hectare monastery property.
In addition to the school, there will also be a monastery inn and a day café
Should the Bernried congregation acquire the monastery from the “Congregation of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing”, the congregation will start planning to convert the east wing into a primary school location.
Mayor Georg Malterer (ÜFW) speaks of a "medium-term realization".
At the same time, the community will also take on the sponsorship of the educational center - under the umbrella of a local company that has yet to be founded.
The conference operations with currently 35 employees are to be continued on a smaller basis in the west and south wings.
The spiritual and spiritual character should be preserved.
Religious sisters - currently there are only 14 - will continue to live in the monastery.
The currently oversized kitchen wing in the monastery should possibly also cater to other facilities and, for example, provide gastronomic offers for the summer cellar, which is still under renovation.
Malterer speaks of “interesting synergy effects” in this regard.
The summer cellar as a cultural event center will also be operationally integrated into the KU.
A day café and a monastery inn are also to be built in the monastery.
It is hoped that the income will be used to run the educational center economically beyond covering maintenance and ancillary costs.