The spa town of Bad Wörishofen is located in the Unterallgäu region between Munich and Lake Constance. People have been travelling to this former farming village in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps for over 150 years, hoping to be healed by the philosophy of the priest and naturopath Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897). His holistic teachings were based on the five elements of water, herbs, nutrition, inner balance and movement. The goal was to bring body, soul and spirit into harmony. As a result, Bad Wörishofen became famous around the world. Today, there are 23 Kneipp centres in the town. In 2015, the German UNESCO commission declared "Kneippen" a piece of intangible cultural heritage and called upon people to experience it at its place of creation.
Kneipp was a pioneer in naturopathy, and began practising his methods in the east wing of the historic Dominican monastery. Today, it is home to the Kneipp Museum , which takes visitors on a journey through time and uses over 2,000 exhibition pieces to show how Sebastian Kneipp lived. These items document how the five columns of his teaching developed. Individual rooms focus on the five principles of Kneipp's philosophy or the success of the worldwide Kneipp movement. Visitors are also given an insight into the private life of the "water doctor" through reconstructions of his living room and bed chamber. Alongside the original furniture, these also include some highly personal items such as his confirmation certificate and his death mask. But museum focuses on much more than just the life and work of Sebastian Kneipp. It also tells the long story of Bad Wörishofen, which was founded 2,000 years before the birth of the man who made it famous.
The monastery garden can be accessed from the museum in the summer and offers five topic areas in which visitors can find out about the five elements of Kneipp's naturopathy and even try them out on their own bodies. The spring fountain, for example, stands for the healing power of water, fruit trees represent healthy and balanced nutrition, and a small selection of exercise equipment invites visitors to experience the element of movement. A fountain with a hose in the grounds of the monastery allows visitors to apply cold spurts of water.
After visiting the museum, visitors can continue exploring the principles of nutrition and inner balance by feeding their body and soul at the "La Stazione" restaurant near the train station. The kitchen uses fresh, seasonal ingredients to create a varied menu of dishes.
Information about prices, opening times and more can be found here.
Take the train to Bad Wörishofen. From there, it is just a ten-minute walk to the Kneipp Museum. Leave the station via Bahnhofplatz and turn right at the Bahnhof-Apotheke into Bahnhofstrasse. After a few minutes, turn left into Schulstrasse and follow it until turning right into Klosterhof. Please note that the entrance to the Kneipp Museum is on Schulstrasse.