Visit of the Ryumon Ji Zen Temple in Weiterswiller


Here is an unusual place that I am happy to have discovered near La Petite Pierre: the Zen temple Ryumon Ji of Weiterswiller, which means "temple of the dragon door of the old mountain". It is a Buddhist monastery where a community of monks and nuns lead a monastic life according to the rules of the Soto Zen school, but also welcome visitors.

Laurène is the blog's creator. Originally from Brittany but now living in Alsace, she has fallen in love with her adopted region and loves exploring its every nook and cranny to unearth great ideas to share with you!

Weiterswiller: 1 village, 4 religions

The village of Weiterswiller, which has only 500 inhabitants, is interesting to discover. It is indeed a beautiful example of cohabitation of religions since one finds there Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Buddhist religious buildings. Incredible, isn’t it? In addition to the temple which I will talk more about in this article, the village is worth a visit to discover this heritage.

You can see the different buildings (Catholic church, Protestant church, former synagogue, Jewish cemetery…) on your own, but it is really best to take a guided tour to be able to go inside the buildings and learn more about their history. It is best to contact the Hanau-La Petite Pierre Tourist Office directly to find out the dates and themes of the tours.

Theprotestant church of Weiterswiller hasvery rich wall paintings which are really worth discovering during a guided tour. The Jewish heritage of the town is not lacking in interest either, and here again the guided tour is useful to decipher the different symbols that you will find for example on the graves of the cemetery or to understand the history of the different places. I learned a lot!

Visit the gardens and the Buddhist chapel

The Zen Temple of Weiterswiller is surprising at first sight: one does not expect to find a Buddhist temple in this place, in a small remote village of Alsace, at the edge of a huge forest. However, the place has existed since 1999 and attracts a large number of visitors. Once you have discovered it, I think you can’t help but come back: it’s a beautiful and peaceful place where lay people are also welcome.

It is said that you feel different when you walk through the front door, and it must be said that the calm and peaceful atmosphere of the temple grabs you immediately. One can freely enter to visit the garden and the Buddhist chapel. There is simply an offering boxwhere you can give whatever you want.

The garden is really very nice: a real little haven of peace where nature seems to bloom. There is a vegetable garden, a medicinal herb garden and a stone garden.

The Buddhist chapel is also open to all and its calmness makes you want to settle down. Don’t hesitate to do it (I wouldn’t have dared if someone hadn’t told me!), it’s made for that. You can sit there to pray, meditate or simply rest, there are no rules!

On Saturdays on request, guided tours can also be organized from 5 people.

Come and meditate at the Zen Temple in Weiterswiller

The monastery is inhabited by a community of monks and nuns living on site and welcoming people wishing to share their daily life for a more or less long time.

Meditation retreats (sesshin) are organized every 15 days for a weekend, but some people also choose to stay for several months, it really varies. It made me want to come back to try the experience of a retreat because one feels immediately good in this temple, where one is moreover very kindly welcomed by the community.

  • Beautiful and soothing place
  • Gardens and chapel in free access
  • Community welcome on site
  • Village of Weiterswiller
  • Nothing!

My photos of the Zen temple and Weiterswiller