Andechs and the mouse

Around the year 1080 there was no monastery on the Holy Mountain, but the castle of the Counts of Andechs. According to lore, the counts brought relics back with them from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which they kept in their castle chapel.

They became the basis of the Andechs collection of relics. In 1128, Count Berthold II made it mandatory for his subjects to undertake an annual pilgrimage to Andechs and to worship the relics kept there. He thereby established Bavaria’s oldest pilgrimage.

After the Counts of Andechs died out, the Andechs Castle was destroyed except for the castle chapel. The collection of relics was thought to be lost until a mouse, during a service in the former castle chapel, is said to have dragged a relic slip into the light of day. Excavations commenced and, according to lore, a wooden chest was found on 26 May 1388 under the castle chapel’s altar, containing large parts of the holy relics. The rediscovery of the relics was a sensation and the pilgrimage flourished again. Since a pilgrimage makes you hungry and thirsty, the Benedictines of Andechs have supplied the pilgrims and guests with their beer brewed on site from the founding of the monastery in 1455 to this day.

Can you find the mouse? Hint: Look at the bottom altar step in front of the high altar.

Andechs Monastery Emblem