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History of the Museum

In November 1887 the first missionaries of the young monastic community set out to East Africa. They sent back objects from their living environment to St. Ottilien to prepare the succeeding missionaries for their future service and to familiarize them with the local population's way of life.

This collection of ethnologic, artistic and religious objects, dried plants and stuffed animals grew rapidly and soon the setting-up of a museum was considered.

In 1896, an "Africa Museum" was first mentioned in the monastery's archives. With the expansion of the St. Ottilien mission to Korea from 1908, the Museum gained an Asia Department which enlarged later through additional acquisitions.

After several relocations in the monastery area, in 1911 the collection moved permanently to today's premises in the monastery building between church and south wing.

The collection, first intended for internal use and special guests, was opened to the general public in 1922.

The inventory was complemented continuously until recent years by objects from the missionary communities, souvenirs form missionaries and gifts for the abbots.

Between 2011 and 2015 the Museum and depository were restored with a new regulation of the indoor climate. Additionally, the pedagogical concept of the Museum was updated and extended to include the mission topic.