Maulbronn monastery complex, Germany

Monday, September 10, 2012

After the visit of Bruchsal the following destination was the Maulbronn monastery complex, located at 30 km far from Bruchsal and Karlsruhe, another site of the off the beaten path places to visit.

After having crossed an area of woody hills and vineyards I reached the town of Maulbronn. The main street leads to the abbey, considered "as the most complete and best-preserved medieval monastic complex north of the Alps", one of the reasons why this site has been added to the list of Unesco sites.

The complex is surrounded by fortified walls as you can see immediately at the entrance
and from outside it seems to be more a fortress rather than a monastery complex.

Once crossed the main entrance, the other impression you got is to be a in sort of small village, with bars, restaurants, houses, shops and a little police station. The courtyard displays some nice houses, pink or white-brown typical of Middle Europe

The cost to visit the abbey is 6 Euros and it's a small price compared to what you can see. While a continuous turnover from Cistercian to Protestant, the monastery became protestant in 1648 and in 1806 a Protestant theological seminary was founded. The Protestant style can be easily recognized as you don't find or see Christian statues or images.

Impressive are the church and the cloister that show huge halls and spaces like this:
In particular look at the pic of the church, built in a Transitional Gothic style, that influenced in a later stage the north and central Europe building style.
Beyond the church, there'a an area with postmonastic buildings like the hunting lodge of Ludwig, Duke of Wurttemberg, which have Renaissance elements.
The most interesting place where to see the size of the monastery is for sure from the external walls
and enjoy the sight: an advice that you should not miss!
To relax a bit after this interesting visit, there's the Tiefer See: if you want you can even swim by paying 1,5 Euros per person as if you were at the sea.
The visit to the complex lasts not more than 2-3 hours: it is recommendable to reach the site by car. This is another place of the off the beaten track Germany you should absolutely visit!

Where to sleep:

  • Gastehaus Stuttgart36: 200 meters from the Monastery, breakfast not included (8 Euros per person), prices around 72 Euros per double room per night.
  • Klosterpost: close to the monastery, breakfast not included (10 Euros per person), prices around 95 Euros per double room per night.
  • Klosterhof 21 Apartments: located directly in the courtyard of the Monastery, breakfast not included (14,50 Euros per person), prices around 125 Euros per double room per night.

Then I came back to Karlsruhe, ready to go to Strasbourg in France the day after.

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