A few weekends ago, we took a day trip to Maria Laach Monastery, near Andernach in the Rhineland. This Benedictine Abbey was founded in 1093 and the abbey buildings themselves were built between that year and 1177, then added on to in 1225. Things just don’t move that fast when dealing with medieval churches. The church itself is considered to be a masterpiece of German Romanesque architecture and the adjoining building is home to approximately 45 monks. We were fortunate to be there about noon on a Sunday and watched as the monks made their procession into the church and sang their haunting liturgical chants.
The abbey is a working enterprise and the monks sustain themselves through a number of agricultural and horticultural enterprises. They have a “Gärtnerei” or nursery on the grounds and do a booming business selling plants and organic products. Oh, and did I mention that there’s also a beautiful hotel on the grounds and an impressive visitor center. Pretty enterprising, these monks.
|Living quarters for the brothers|
|Church grounds reflect the Moorish style of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain|
|Tome of King Heinrich II, 1270|
|Tanya is very excited about the flowers in the nursery|
|It’s important to pick the perfect plant|