Penelope Chauvin

Written by Penelope Chauvin

Modified & Updated: 29 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Saint John’s Abbey, located in the picturesque town of Collegeville, is not only a landmark of architectural magnificence but also a hub of rich historical and cultural significance. This abbey, known for its stunning beauty and serene surroundings, has a fascinating story that spans centuries. From its humble beginnings as a small monastic community in the 19th century to its growth into a renowned educational institution, Saint John’s Abbey has become an integral part of the Collegeville community.

In this article, we will delve into 14 extraordinary facts about Saint John’s Abbey, shedding light on its captivating history, remarkable achievements, and unique features. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a lover of art and architecture, or simply curious about this renowned landmark, join us as we explore the hidden gems and lesser-known facts that make Saint John’s Abbey a truly extraordinary place.

Key Takeaways:

  • Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, is a historic and educational landmark with a stunning architectural marvel, a renowned choir, and a commitment to social justice and diversity.
  • Visitors can experience a haven for nature lovers, a treasure trove for bookworms, and a source of inspiration for artists and spiritual seekers at Saint John’s Abbey.
Table of Contents

A Place of History and Tradition

Saint John’s Abbey, located in Collegeville, Minnesota, is a place steeped in rich history and deep-rooted traditions. With a history dating back over a century, this abbey has become a cherished landmark in the area.

A Hub of Education

Saint John’s Abbey is home to Saint John’s University, a prestigious liberal arts institution offering a wide range of academic programs. The university is dedicated to fostering intellectual growth, spiritual development, and a strong sense of community.

Architectural Marvels

The abbey boasts breathtaking architectural marvels, including the iconic Abbey Church designed by renowned architect Marcel Breuer. This modernist masterpiece draws visitors from all over the world, with its striking design and serene atmosphere.

A Haven for Nature Enthusiasts

Surrounded by stunning natural beauty, Saint John’s Abbey is a paradise for nature lovers. The abbey is situated on thousands of acres of pristine land, featuring picturesque lakes, wooded trails, and peaceful gardens.

Book Lovers’ Paradise

The Saint John’s Abbey library is home to one of the most extensive collections of rare books and manuscripts in the region. Bookworms can immerse themselves in a treasure trove of knowledge, exploring centuries-old texts and literary gems.

A Center of Spiritual Retreats

Saint John’s Abbey offers a tranquil setting for spiritual retreats and contemplation. With its peaceful surroundings and a dedicated retreat center, individuals can embark on a journey of self-reflection and rejuvenation.

Dedicated to Social Justice

The Saint John’s Abbey community has a strong commitment to social justice and activism. The abbey actively supports and engages in initiatives aimed at addressing social issues and promoting equality and compassion.

Home to a Renowned Choir

The Saint John’s Abbey is also known for its world-renowned choir, which has garnered international acclaim for its exceptional talent and captivating performances. Their harmonious voices echo within the abbey’s walls and resonate with audiences worldwide.

A Welcoming Place for Visitors

Saint John’s Abbey warmly welcomes visitors from all walks of life. Whether you are a curious traveler, a pilgrim seeking spiritual solace, or an art enthusiast, the abbey opens its doors to provide a glimpse into its unique offerings.

A Hub of Cultural Events

Saint John’s Abbey hosts a wide range of cultural events throughout the year, including concerts, art exhibitions, and lectures. These events foster a vibrant cultural scene, bringing together artists, scholars, and the local community.

Embracing Diversity

Saint John’s Abbey embraces diversity and celebrates inclusivity. The community welcomes individuals from various backgrounds, fostering an environment of respect, understanding, and mutual acceptance.

A Place of Healing

Many people find solace and healing within the tranquil environment of Saint John’s Abbey. The abbey provides a sanctuary for those seeking peace, comfort, and healing during challenging times.

A Source of Inspiration

Saint John’s Abbey serves as a source of inspiration for artists, writers, and spiritual seekers. Its serene surroundings and rich history have sparked countless creative expressions and spiritual insights.

A Community of Service

Saint John’s Abbey is deeply committed to serving others. The abbey community engages in various charitable initiatives, extending a helping hand to those in need and making a positive impact on the world.


In conclusion, Saint John’s Abbey and Collegeville is a truly remarkable and unique landmark. From its stunning architecture to its rich history and vibrant cultural scene, there is no shortage of extraordinary facts about this captivating place. Whether you are a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, a visit to Saint John’s Abbey and Collegeville is sure to leave you in awe. So, plan your trip and immerse yourself in the beauty and serenity of this remarkable destination. Explore the Abbey’s stunning architecture, stroll through the picturesque campus of Saint John’s University, and experience the rich traditions and spiritual life that permeate this extraordinary place. Saint John’s Abbey and Collegeville is truly a gem worth discovering.


1. What is the history behind Saint John’s Abbey?

Saint John’s Abbey has a history dating back to 1856 when it was founded by Benedictine monks. For over 150 years, the Abbey has served as a spiritual and cultural center, and it continues to be a prominent landmark in Collegeville.

2. Can visitors tour the Abbey?

Yes, visitors can take guided tours of Saint John’s Abbey. These tours provide an opportunity to explore the stunning architecture, learn about the Abbey’s history, and witness the monks’ way of life.

3. What is the significance of Saint John’s University?

Saint John’s University, located adjacent to the Abbey, is a renowned educational institution. It offers a wide range of academic programs and has a vibrant campus culture that complements the spiritual and intellectual traditions of the Abbey.

4. Are there any cultural events held at Saint John’s Abbey?

Yes, Saint John’s Abbey hosts various cultural events throughout the year, including concerts, art exhibits, and literary readings. These events provide an opportunity to experience the rich cultural heritage and artistic talent associated with the Abbey.

5. Is there accommodation available for visitors?

Yes, Saint John’s Abbey offers guest accommodations for visitors seeking to immerse themselves in the serene environment. These accommodations offer a unique opportunity to experience the peaceful atmosphere and spiritual life of the Abbey.

Saint John's Abbey offers a unique glimpse into monastic life, but there's more to explore. Dive into the world of Catholic Education and its impact on students. Uncover fascinating Minnesota facts that will make you appreciate this beautiful state even more. For those intrigued by religious communities, learn about the captivating Mount Athos Monasteries and their rich history. Each topic provides a fresh perspective on faith, culture, and the human experience, inviting you to broaden your horizons and satisfy your curiosity.

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