The 850-year-old Cistercian Michaelstein Abbey is picturesquely situated in a valley near Blankenburg. After the Reformation, the building embarked on a secular path, being used as a school and then for agricultural purposes. The entire site still shows all the signs of the typical simple, solemn architecture of a monastery, however, and has been well preserved thanks to professional renovation. Today, the complex hosts an attractive mix of cultural offerings.
The first is the Saxony-Anhalt Music Academy. This offers musicians and musicologists a broad portfolio of continuing education and research, while the fascinating permanent exhibition “KlangZeitRaum” brings music history to life for every visitor. Instruments from four centuries, side by side with features such as an exciting sound and light installation, models and exhibits with experiments, enable visitors to hear and literally grasp how music has changed over time. The programme is rounded off by a varied range of concert events in the “Music Barn”.
Another kind of culture, this time in the form of botany and history, can be found in the monastic gardens, which have been faithfully reconstructed based on mediaeval sources. In the herb garden alone there are more than 260 different herbs once used by the monks to flavour food and for medicinal purposes! The vegetable garden, with its 100 plant varieties, also takes you back in time to the suppers served by mediaeval monks.