Carmelite Monastery

Historical buildings are rare in Frankfurt and consequently the “Carmelite Monastery” is of great significance. Relics testifying to the status of the former free city as trade and fair centre, as well as election place of kings and emperors, are rare indeed. Karmeliterkloster is the only preserved mediaeval monastery in Frankfurt am Main and with its murals by the artist Jörg Ratgeb it is one of the outstanding historical art treasures of the Main metropolis. Founded shortly after 1240, Karmeliterkloster grew from humble beginnings into an extensive monastery complex with church, function buildings and its own graveyard. Its present form stems from the 15. century. During this period the church was extended and the cloisters and the northern main building with refectory and dormitory were added. Thanks to generous donations, the Swabian painter Jörg Ratgeb could be commissioned to decorate the cloister and the refectory in the years 1514-21. The principal donors were the Frankfurt patriciate, four imperial princes visiting Frankfurt for the election of the emperor in 1519, ecclesiastical and aristocratic neighbours, knights in the service of the city, brotherhoods and merchants from out of town. The portrayals of the passion and salvation in the cloister and of the history of the holy Carmelite order in the refectory belong to the most extensive and significant murals north of the Alps.

Disbanded in 1803 in the course of secularization and passing into ownership of the city, the monastery was used in subsequent years as magazine, hospital, barracks, seat of the customs authority, school and later as fire brigade headquarters. Far-reaching refurbishment took place in the thirties and forties of the 20. century, but air raids in March 1944 destroyed major parts of the complex. Following sweeping authentic reconstruction in 1955 the monastery served as centre of various institutions until the City Archives took it over in 1959. In connection with the establishment of the Archaeological Museum in 1987-89 the monastery church was finally refurbished. During the years 2066 to 2009 a fundamental renovation of the extensive complex – except the Archaeological Museum – was undertaken.

Münzgasse 9
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Phone +49 (0) 69 212 36276
Fax +49 (0) 69 212 30753