In my previous tips I already described how quiet the surroundings of Wies Church are as soon as the masses of day visitors are gone. In October 2011 this was after approx. 6 p.m. But the best of my staying next to the church was the organist who started playing or exercising in the evenings. Often I sat on my balcony and just listened and had this gorgeous view of the mountains in the south. But the best of all was my last evening. Since the restaurant was already closed when I appeared there a bit before 6 p.m., I went into the church to listen to the organ instead. It was a very special atmosphere inside. No one else but me was inside, except the organist of course. The sun was slowly setting down leaving a special illumination inside. Quiet. Serene. Contemplation. Spiritual. A perfect finish to my stay in Pfaffenwinkel region.
Throughout the year a lot of official concerts are being held in Wies Church. Information is provided on the website, although only on the German part. Several of these are free but the majority do cost. Most of them are part of the event which is being called ”Festlicher Sommer auf der Wies” (festive summer at Wies), with German website only.
Nevertheless, given the many people during official concerts and the very quiet and almost heavenly atmosphere during evenings when the organist plays, I definitely preferred the latter. I made a short video that evening. Not professional of course, but it shows a bit of this marvellous atmosphere.
© Ingrid D., October 2011.
continue with next review => how to reach Steingaden
Although a great many part of the buildings of the former Premonstratensian monastery is no longer there, the remaining ones still form a homogeneous picture of the town. These buildings have been lovingly kept in shape and house all different businesses by now, restaurants, bakeries, pharmacies and private homes. The locals are very proud of their past and have formed a civic foundation in 1998, which takes care about the historic heritage and its transfer into daily life. With no means this leads to a backward effect, quite contrary: the past is being preserved and combined with the future. The foundation has started already in 1997, when they have planned and enacted a historical open air performance called Welf’s Erbe, Welf’s heritage, which was a great success. In 2011, they have enacted their second play, Das Wunder Wies, The Miracle of Wies (church) and will most likely continue with these open air performances. This is similar like in nearby Oberammergau: all actors of these performances are amateurs, locals from Steingaden.
In addition to the performances the foundation has published a very good brochure with guided walks through the historic Steingaden, emphasis of course to the former monastery buildings. It is called “Auf klösterlichen Pfaden”, costs 2 Euro, and is available inside the church (the fee has to be put into the collection box). At the moment this brochure is available only in German and I hope that they will also publish it in English one day.
Update December 2011: I just found this leaflet for download, although also in German only. Nevertheless, it has the map and numbers of the single houses as well as photos of these for easy identification.
© Ingrid D., October 2011.
continue with next review => magic evenings at Wies Church and organ music