Kloster Bentlage

Kloster Bentlage is a former monastery of the Crosiers and dates back to 1437. It is located amidst the Bentlage recreational area in a mostly intact, historically developed cultural landscape on the left bank of the River Ems, close to NaturZoo Rheine and the historical Saline Gottesgabe salt works. The monastery complex was secularized in 1803 and has been in municipal ownership since 1978; today it is an outstanding artistic and cultural monument, renovated in a fascinating, contemporary manner that brings alive 500 years of history. Kloster Bentlage is the best-preserved example in the Westphalia region of Gothic convent building at a rural monastery. Traces of baroque and classicist construction reveal the work of the monks and also of their successors, a family of Belgian aristocrats that used the monastery as a palace from 1803 onwards.

The process of restoration has intentionally retained all these signs of age. The architectural additions have been made with modern materials, and thus the historical development can still be seen and understood in the building itself. Since the start of the 1990s Kloster Bentlage has established itself as a major centre for contemporary art in the Münsterland region. Works by important German and foreign artists are presented in a wide-ranging exhibition programme. Kloster Bentlage initiates or participates in ambitious regional and international cooperation and exchange programmes.