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Review Highlights
I Love This Place!

I have made four trips to Gethsemani over the past 5 years. I suggest this to any of my friends who... read more

Reviewed August 26, 2018
Sojournwithme
,
Xenia, Ohio
Great experience!!!

Went on a Sunday and had evening prayer with the Monks @ 5:30! A really great experience! The... read more

Reviewed July 1, 2018
Weekend20854
,
Washington DC, District of Columbia
via mobile
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All reviews fudge peaceful place gift shop spiritual life open to the public their lives really enjoyed our visit weekend retreat visitor center fruit cake prayer fruitcake mass monkeys meriton contemplation visitors
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Reviewed August 26, 2018

I have made four trips to Gethsemani over the past 5 years. I suggest this to any of my friends who are interested in finding a quiet place to meditate, relax, or develop their spiritual life. Whether you are Catholic or not, this is a wonderful place to learn and grow.

As each of my three sons was about to graduate high school I told them they had to spend a few days with me at Gethsemani: no cells, no electronics. I wanted them to experience the discipline of silence and to explore their own spiritual life. Admittedly, they were apprehensive. At the end, they were grateful, though not convinced they would do it again. :)

While on the grounds, guests are expected to observe a discipline of silence. There is no talking. There are two eating areas adjacent to the one cafeteria. In one, you listen to recorded messages and talks about spirituality and in the other, down the hall from the cafeteria strict silence is observed. Once outside the Monastic grounds conversation is permitted. Across the street from the monastery, there are miles of hiking trails along the knobs of Kentucky. Maps are available from the monks at the reception desk. On my last visit, I brought my fishing pole and caught a few bass at the ponds on the grounds. The setting is beautiful.

If you go in the summer, expect to sweat - a lot! Take a trip to the distillery in Bardstown for a tour and buy some bourbon. The museum and gift shop on the grounds offers an informative and well-made video about the monastic life. You can also buy gifts and food made by the monks and other monks and nuns around the country. Be sure to bring a camera, as well as your journal.

The monks observe the daily offices and all are welcome to attend. There are "monk talks" offered throughout the week, and people are welcome to pray the rosary in the chapel. And while I am from a Protestant tradition, I wanted my sons to be aware of and familiar with various expressions of faith, including the offices and praying the rosary.

Do yourself a favor, don't be afraid of the "silence" and invest in your health by spending a few days at Gethsemani.

2  Thank Sojournwithme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2018 via mobile

Went on a Sunday and had evening prayer with the Monks @ 5:30! A really great experience! The address I put in my gps was off a little, so keep driving until u see it on the left!

Thank Weekend20854
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2018 via mobile

After reading works by Thomas Merton we felt it would be fun to see where he lived. We saw a good video and display of the Abby. The gift shop was large with many items made by the monks. The setting was spectacular and wished we could have spent time walking the grounds, but unfortunately ran out of time. This place could easily take two to three hours.

1  Thank William B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2018 via mobile

The Abbey of Gethsemani is off the beaten path for sure. It is indeed an active monastery in the Order of Cistercians. The brothers conduct prayers, vespers, and mass daily. There is a public area to participate/observe the services. There is also a visitor’s chapel, which seems to generally be unoccupied. The monastery gardens are off limits to the public, but their are hiking trails on the property. Retreats can also be arranged for individuals, couples, and groups. The graveyard is open to the public, with graves back to the 19th century. A shop/visitors center offers a brief movie. Significantly, the brothers partially support themselves by making fudge (the best fudge). When you enter the gift store go to the back left and there is a small refrigerator...Inside is the fudge.


Some of the fudge is made with bourbon and some is not. The raspberry fudge we purchased was phenomenal. My wife dislikes fudge, and she loved the white chocolate peanut butter fudge.

The only reason the abbey received a four is the grounds are somewhat limited. Young children probably would be bored. There is no charge to visit, and parking is plentiful and free. Thus, for older, spiritually-minded fudge lovers the abbey is perfect.

Thank tomsaint11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2018

What a nice place to visit,the grounds and church are beautiful,you get a feeling of peace here...really enjoyed our visit...

1  Thank bamablws
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2017 via mobile

It is a great place to stop for a day but to truly understand how special this place is you need to take a retreat here. Details on how to arrange are on their website. It will be an experience you will never forget if you let it be one.

1  Thank Drew G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2017

Wife & I and friends visited this peaceful place on our weekend trip to Bardstown, KY. This unbelievable place has been here since before the Civil War. The Monks are famous for their Christmas fruit cakes. This is a must-see

2  Thank Mike D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2017

If you can, attend one of the liturgy of the hours services. It is an amazing uplifting of your spirit. The grounds are serene, picturesque, and you are free to wander and meditate and slow down your life. They have a gift shop, well appointed, and a great selection of Merton-related books and other articles.

Thank Anthony O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2017

Was a great visit! Was able to visit with bro Christian, so full of God's will an spirit! Wonderful meal, wonderful prayers, wonderful reflection,

Thank Edward K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2017 via mobile

I went on a spiritual weekend retreat with others from my Catholic parish. I found it wonderfully uplifting and an enhancement to my spiritual life. I believe non-Catholic Christians would also benefit. However, it is not for everyone as talking is not permitted, except for a few indicated locations at the Abbey. The monks say little, except in homilies or retreat talks, due to their monastic silence, but they are really warm and accomodating to visitors. Also, their bourbon fruitcake and chocolates are terrific! The Abbey trails in two square miles of forested land offer a respite - and where you can also talk, reflect, or pray. I plan to go there again.

1  Thank michaelmT932AS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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