On what must have been one of the finest summer's days since we have been living in the Rheingau we betook ourselves off to Kloster Eberbach for the nth visit with the express aim of taking photos for my home page.
Kloster Eberbach never fails to delight, enchant and simply awe the visitor with its dimensions, history and the sense of tranquillity and peace that pervades it.
Although it ceased to function as an active monastery in 1803, when you wander through the ancient halls and passages the feeling of the unhurried pace and ordered life of the monks can still be felt.
The Kloster is one of the main centres for the Rheingau Musik Festival and also for numerous other concerts throughout the year
For lovers of fine wine a visit to the wine shop alone is rewarding enough - but better if you go on a tour that highlights the wine making process and ends with a wine tasting. Having now decided on what particularly appeals to you, you can order same from the wine shop and have it delivered to await you at home when you return home from your vacation - a tasty reminder of an enjoyable holiday.
The hall where the grapes used to be pressed with two enormous wine presses is fascinating as is the cellar with the old casks where the wine once matured.
The life of the monks was strictly regulated - it started at 2 o'clock in the morning with prayers and ended at 8 o'clock in the evening.
In between - work, study and prayers followed one another.
A interesting 'pie-chart' on the wall supplies the details. Unfortunately my photo somehow got deleted from the camera but after our next visit the appropriate photo will appear in this spot!
The Kloster also produces their own beer (Pils) which is excellent - I know as I always enjoy same when we go on a 'summer visit' to the Kloster.
Other points of interest - a large selection of books dealing with the Kloster and other religious themes - mainly in German but a number are also in English.
Two restaurants are also at hand - one supplying light but pleasant meals and the other more substantial (and of course more costly) dishes.
The Kloster was founded by the Mainzer Archbishop Adalbert I in 1136 and the consecration took place in 1186.
The romantic (style) building period ended around 1220.
At first there were only 22 monks but the kloster rapidly developed into one of the most important monasteries in Germany.
In the 12th and 13th centuries around 100 monks and 200 lay-monks lived and worked at the monastery.
They created in the Gothic and Baroque periods a large complex of buildings. The integrity of the whole structure and the nigh perfect condition make Kloster Eberbach almost unique in Germany.
The Kloster flourished in the 18th century but after the French revolution high war costs led to the dissolution of the Kloster as an active monastery in 1803. It was taken over by Prince Friedrich August von Nassau-Usingen.
Since the dissolution , the main source of income has remained wine but the Kloster has hosted many cultural activities - e.g. Rheingau Musik Festival - and can be seen in some films -e.g. The name of the rose.