The Cistercian abbey was founded here in 1127. The Würzburg prince-bishops even had their hearts buried here until 1537, but much of the treasury was looted by Swedish troops when they took Franconia between 1631 and 1634. The abbey itself had a very baroque reconstruction later, but most of the area is now a juvenile prison.
The entrance to the abbey leads directly into a grotto-like area adorned with shells that used to lead into the garden. According to the tour guide (also a prison guard?), they were somewhat ruined by American GIs who used the area for cooking. On either side past the entrance are staircases. The monks would enter from the right, which has a figure of youth carved below the staircase, and exit down the other side, which rested on the image of old age.
The Kaisersaal (Imperial Hall) is lavish and large, with dark red sheets of marble standing out from the sculptural stucco. Some frescos are full color while others are a muted, two-color palette. The figures are also decorated with gold and some spot coloring.
Parts now in the museum area are also well-preserved or restored.
From the second floor, the murals become even more impressive, as they become completely three-dimensional, actively flying and falling out of their pre-ordained space.