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Kloster Ettal, on Kaiser-Ludwig-Platz at Ettal (tel. 08822/740; www.kloster-ettal.de), lies in a lovely valley sheltered by the steep hills of the Ammergau. Duke Ludwig the Bavarian founded this abbey in 1330. Its statue of the Virgin is attributed to Giovanni Pisano. In the 18th century, the golden age of the abbey, there were about 70,000 pilgrims here every year.

The Church of Our Lady, within the abbey, is one of the finest examples of Bavarian rococo architecture in existence. The impressive baroque facade was built from a plan based on the designs of Enrico Zuccali. Around the polygonal core of the church is a two-story gallery. Visitors stand under a vast dome and admire the fresco, painted by John Jacob Zeiller in the summers of 1751 and 1752.

The abbey stands 3km (2 miles) south of Oberammergau, along the road to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Admission is free, and it's open daily 8am to 7pm year-round. Buses from Oberammergau leave from the Rathaus and the Bahnhof once per hour during the day, with round-trip fare 12€. Call the RVO Bus Company in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (tel. 08821/948274; www.rvo-bus.de) for information.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.