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The abbey is situated on a peninsula in the Danube, on the so-called "Weltenburg Narrows" or the "Danube Gorge". The monastery, founded by Irish or Scottish monks in about 620, is held to be the oldest monastery in Bavaria.
The monastery courtyard is surrounded by Baroque buildings, the highlight of which is the abbey church, dedicated to Saint George, which was built by the Asam Brothers between 1716 and 1739. The chapel underwent extensive restoration from 2003-2005.
The abbey was dissolved in 1803 during the secularization of Bavaria.
On 25 August 1842 Weltenburg was re-founded as a priory of Metten Abbey. It has been a member of the Bavarian Congregation of the Benedictine Confederation since 1858 and was raised to the status of an independent abbey in 1913.
Besides the traditional duties of hospitality, the abbey has pastoral responsibility for four parishes.
Weltenburg Abbey brewery (Weltenburger Klosterbrauerei) is by some reckonings the oldest monastery brewery in the world, having been in operation since 1050, although the title is disputed by Weihenstephan Abbey. Their Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel was given the World Beer Cup award in 2004 as the best Dunkel beer in the world. The wing of the monastery that faces the Danube River houses a large restaurant on the ground floor operated by a tenant. The traditional Bavarian menu includes the monastery's cheese and beer, and guests are also served in the monastery courtyard, which houses a large open-air biergarten during the warmer months.