19 January 2014

Baden-Württemberg Weekend: Kloster Maulbronn

Another place I have visited during my long weekend in Baden-Württemberg last September was the Maulbronn Monastery. This is the best-preserved Cistercian monastery in the whole of Europe. In fact, it was well preserved to the point that UNESCO recognized it as a World Heritage Site. And perhaps due to this recognition, I decided to do a daytrip here and pay a visit, back when I was in the area back in September.

I was staying in Reutlingen. In order to get here, we had to take the train, transfer in Stuttgart and take another train, and then take the bus. It was a little complicated, but since we had a day ticket that was valid for the whole network, it was not a problem, as we simply hopped on and off the various means of transportation that we used that day.

This monastery is a part of a walled complex. The current town just grew out of it, but the old town is still fortified, rather well if you ask me. The pictures above show the gate and views upon entering the complex.

The monastery was founded in 1147, and most of the buildings you can see above were constructed between the 11th and the 13th century. Hence, this is no Gothic revival. This is the actual Gothic. The pictures above show the courtyard, and the various wood-timbered buildings that gradually formed around it.

There is an entrance fee to enter the museum and cloisters. Hence, you need to find the Administration Building to get your ticket. Otherwise, it is free to wander around the old town and check out the nooks and crannies. The pictures I have above are taken from the museum; they show various architectural artifacts that were featured in this area.

One of the most enjoyable things I did while in the monastery was exploring the cloisters. It was huge. There were plenty of rooms. Some of the rooms were vacant, while some were restored. Others were repurposed. The pictures I have above all depict scenes from the corridors, the eating rooms, the vaults, and the living quarters. Each room came with an explanation describing what their purpose was when the monastery was still fully-functional.

I also checked out the church that was in the monastery. However, it was under construction, and therefore I didn't take plenty of pictures. I just snapped these few scenes near the altar and the choir.

The last set of pictures I have above depict scenes from the surroundings. There are other buildings that came later, as well as gardens, and the walls that surround the monastery. Sometimes I imagine what life was like here back then. I might find it interesting, but I think I still like the modern conveniences that we have in the present time.

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