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Augustinerkloster Erfurt

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ABOVE: A single bedroom at the Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt, Germany.

Spend a night in a modern-day monk's cell

Martin Luther may have slept in the hall, but you don't have to: Since 2002, the Augustinerkloster has offered 51 modern, centrally heated guest rooms with private shower and toilet within the old monastery's walls. These are available to both individual travelers and church groups.

To "maintain the monastic character" of the building, there are no phones, radios, or TVs in the rooms, although there is a television lounge down the corridor. Each room is named after a monk. (My single room was #105, called "Nikolaus vom Amsdorf" in honor of a monk who was born in 1488 and was a supporter of Martin Luther and the Reformation from 1517 until his death in 1565.)

An elevator provides wheelchair access to the 26 single and 25 twin-bedded rooms. The modest rates include service, taxes, and a generous buffet breakfast. Lunch and dinner are available at extremely reasonable prices.

  • Soap isn't provided in the rooms (although linens are), so bring  your own soap or buy toiletries at reception.

  • If you're thirsty after a long day's sightseeing, you can buy soft drinks, mineral water, beer, or wine from a vending machine next to the lobby.

  • During my visit, the reception desk closed at 7 p.m. on weekdays and at 4 p.m. on weekends or holidays, so take your key with you. You'll need it to unlock the front door after hours.

Café

photoFor coffee, cakes, or sandwiches, visit the bright, friendly, and cheerful Klosterstube on the Augustinerstrasse side of the monastery grounds. Prices are reasonable, portions are generous, and your fellow guests are likely to include young people and pensioners who use the Klosterstube as a community center.

Hours are 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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Augustinerkloster

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- Forbes and The Washington Post


Photo (c) iStockphoto.com/Arosoft

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