September 11, 2015
The former Cistercian monastery Maulbronn was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in1993 and is incredibly well preserved. You can read about its history here.
Right before entering through the monastery grounds through the massive old gate...
... I encountered its vigilant guardian. I managed to distract it with an offering.
It is interesting to note that the premises around the monastery are actively used. The picturesque old timber-framed buildings house for example the town-hall, but also various restaurants and shops. Fun fact: the pharmacy is right across the street from the hedge witch.
In preparation for an event there was a screen that had an aerial photography of the whole monastery printed on it.
To the side of the main court is the giant former granary. Next to it an ancient tree offers shade.
Impressions of the monastery's exterior and its surroundings.
Here is a plan for the monastery itself.
Upon entering it becomes clear very quickly just how well-preserved it is.
One of the first things you see is the monastery's landmark - the fountain house. Above the beautiful fountain is a ceiling with amazing artwork.
The fountain house is facing an inner courtyard. With its old trees and wooden benches it is perfectly suited for a moment of quiet contemplation.
The Monk's Refectory is still used for events, such as concerts.
And this used to be the Lay's Refectory.
There are colonnades spanned by sandstone arcs...
... beautiful views of and through windows...
... everywhere are wonderfully carved sandstone ornaments in various sizes...
... like this handrail that fits the stone handrail perfectly.
For me the beauty of the ceiling frescos is absolutely noteworthy. I could have spent hours just walking around with my head tipped back to take in all the details.
The highlight is of course the monastery's church with its different architectural styles.
The pewage is made from massive wood and beautifully carved.
Old pewage wood caught in the sunlight.
At the sides of the church are small alcoves.
Play of light on the floor.
Inside these alcoves and along the walls are tomb slabs of worked sandstone.
A closer look at some of them.
These old wooden doors and gates with their wrought-ironwork are still very beautiful.
On the window sills and walls all over the monastery generations of monks (and maybe visitors, too) etched their names into the sandstone to immortalize themselves.
Behind the monastery is the sandstone statue of a lion in commemoration of soldiers that were killed in World War I.
In front of the monastery is this beautiful old fountain.
As you know by now I really love the effect black and white gives to pictures so there is once again a selection of those.