The idea of barrier-free access has been around for many years, but its implementation was hampered by heritage preservation regulations. “However, with the help of the district government and the Archdiocese of Munich-Freising, and following extensive negotiations with the competent authorities, we found a solution,” says Father Johannes, who was responsible for the project on behalf of the monastery. At the heart of the development was barrier-free access via the churchyard. The plans also provided ramps at the stairs, an elevator and accessible sanitary installations. There were good reasons for the fairly lengthy construction period, which lasted from 2010 until 2015. Father Johannes explains: “One reason was the difficult financing situation, and we are very thankful for the help we received from the Savings Bank. Their support included favourable refinancing through KfW.” In the autumn of 2014, the Savings Bank financed part of the investments with a €865,000 loan, using funds provided through the state-owned development bank KfW’s “Barrier-Free City” initiative.
The Savings Bank not only provided a loan, but also a custom-designed electronic offertory box. During the construction phase, visitors could make donations at a terminal using their bank card, and even received a receipt that would enable them to deduct the donation from their taxes. “The terminal attracted a lot of attention and was used frequently,” says Father Johannes. It has already become clear that the investment was necessary – and worthwhile. Father Johannes has noticed that an increasing number of visitors require walking aids.