The Art Museum in the Monastery of Our Lady is the most important venue for contemporary art and sculpture in the state of Saxony-Anhalt and is one of the region's most popular tourist attractions.
It is no surprise that the beautiful Monastery of our Lady in Magdeburg has become the "pearl of the Romanesque Road". Magdeburg´s oldest surviving building is a stunning piece of Romanesque architecture.
History ascribes the foundation of the monastery to Archbishop Gero who founded the collegiate church in 1015. Around 1070, St. Mary's Church was then inspired by Archbishop Werner and built as a three-aisle basilica with a transept. In 1129, it was taken over by the Premonstratensian order, and the west front with the two predominant towers was added to the building.
The well-preserved cloister walk is a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture in its own right, and a special highlight is the well house as the oldest of its kind in Germany. The northern aisle with its three story barrel-vaulted refectory once included the monks' dining and meeting hall as well as the kitchen and pantry. In the 13th century, the monastery church dedicated to St. Mary was vaulted in early Gothic style.
The rotunda with its pointing cones, resembling a monk’s tonsure, is a remarkable architectural feature of the eastern wing. Together with its 32 arcades, the rotunda forms an ensemble which is considered one of the most amazing and interesting structures in European monastery architecture. After 1220, the monastery church was vaulted in early Gothic style.
Today the monastery hosts the Magdeburg Art Museum featuring a fine collection of medieval and contemporary sculptures and offering many special exhibitions as well as the Georg Philipp Telemann concert hall named after the famous Magdeburg-born Baroque composer. The library is home to a marvellous collection of 22,000 books from the 15th to 20th century.
The surrounding area includes a sculpture park created in 1989. The Art Museum offers an extensive permanent exhibition as well as changing and touring exhibitions on contemporary art and young art history.