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Reichenau Abbey

Reichenau Abbey  is a Benedictine monastery on Reichenau Island on Lake Constance (Bodensee). in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
The Benedictine monastery was founded by Pirmin in 724. Illustrated manuscripts were written in Reichenau in the 10th-11th centuries. The missionary activity of Cyril and Methodius in Eastern Europe is connected with him.
In the 18th century, the Christian monastery began to flourish. Then there were about 20 churches and chapels in it. Three Romanesque temples have survived to this day.
the abbey appeared on the island among still pagan territories, quickly grew and became rich, and also created a unique collection of manuscripts, which have been preserved and today the Karlsruhe library contains 267 parchment and 162 paper manuscripts, as well as 212 fragments and incunabula – both books, that the monastery itself, both of these objects were included in the list of the World UNESCO heritage, because from the very beginning of the 9th to the first years of the 12th century, the world’s largest monastic library was located here.
The monastery was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2000 . According to UNESCO in its justification, the island is an outstanding testimony to the religious and cultural role of a large Benedictine monastery in the Middle Ages. Today tourists traveling around the region and  come to hotels on the island of Reichenau.

Access : Coordinates: 47.6989, 9.0624 / By car : The districts of Lindenbühl and Waldsiedlung are on the B33. From this the L 221 branches off and leads over the Reichenauer Damm to the island. The dam has a cycle and footpath that is separate from the road. / By bus :
Line 7372 Reichenau ( Island ) – Reichenau train station – Konstanz-Wollmatingen. /

By boat : 1 marina on the north side of the island. Passenger ferries from Allensbach.
2 landing stages on the south side of the island. In summer there are regular connections to Konstanz, Stein am Rhein, Schaffhausen and Radolfzell.
By bike : The causeway on the island is nearly 3km long and has a dedicated paved path for cyclists, skaters and pedestrians.

Highlights :

  •  The monastery  became famous for its school of book miniatures and for the fact that it was within its walls that the crown of Charlemagne was created, now kept in Vienna.
  •  The monastery has preserved murals, which are considered the oldest in Germany.the Ottonian murals of miracles of Christ, unique survivals from the 10th century.
  •  The Benedictine monastery was one of the most influential spiritual, scientific and cultural centers of medieval Germany. Abbot Hayton established ties with Byzantium, Greek was taught at the monastery. It was visited by the Apostle of the Slavs Saint Methodius and his Greek companions-missionaries. During the Ottonian Renaissance, the monastery was of great importance in the spiritual life of Germany.
  •  The most important and influential of the Reichenbau abbots was Hatto II – Hatto of Mainz -, who directed the monastery from 888 to 893. Appointed Archbishop of Mainz in 891, he was Chancellor and Advisor to King Arnulf of Carinthia. The abbot accompanied King Arnulf to Rome on his coronation as emperor by Pope Formosus in 895, receiving from the pope the relics of Saint George, the origin of the church of the abbey of the same name.
  •  The inhabitants of Reichenau celebrate traditional festivals, such as that of the Holy Blood, dated between the year 923 and 925, a festival in which various relics and a bust of Christ are taken out in procession on the Monday after Trinidad Sunday. The relic in procession would contain the holy blood of Golgotha, fragments of the Cross of Christ and a fragment of bloody silk cloth. The set is preserved in a baroque-style reliquary made by the local goldsmith Franz Andreas Wech in 1746.
  •  Legend about the foundation : Legend has it that the island of Reichenau came under the influence of an Alemannic nobleman named Sintlas, who lived in the nearby village of Sandeck, in the current area of nearby Salenstein. Therefore the island was initially also called Sintlas-Au or Sindleozesauua. When in 724 Saint Pirminus arrived on the lake, he asked Sintlas for permission to build a chapel in the surroundings and, having obtained it, he chose the island of Reichenau as the site. This was covered with an inhospitable forest, full of snakes, toads and insects. There, as soon as Pirmino set foot on the island, a spring formed. The parasitic insects flew off the island in three days towards the lake. Pirmino and his companions cleared the land, made the island habitable, and founded a convent.

Activities : Guided tour. you can walk around the monastery, looking at the Church of St. George of the 10th century./  There are few hotels on Reichenau Island, but there are also campgrounds and fairly cheap hotels, and holidays on the island are suitable for those who like to spend their holidays in peace and quiet.

Go next : Explore Reichenau Island, Schopflen castle ruins , St. Maria u. Markus Cathedral , St. Peter and Paul Church.

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  1. Hi
    Thank you for using my picture via But this church is not the monastery but St. George on Reichenau Island with very interesting murals from the 10th century. If you like I can give you a picture from the monastery.


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