Maulbronn Things to Do
Most people come to Maulbronn for the cloister, but there is more to do and see. Maulbronn has a few very nice walking trails around the town. We walked up through the vineyards and enjoyed the view across the cloister, then through meadows and found a very quiet lake, the Rossweiher. This lake had been artificially made by the monks to have a good...more
The Monk's refectory is one of the biggest room of the monastery. It was erected during the Romanesque period: there you can see tall walls, narrow and rounded arch windows. In 1220 the Master of Paradise give the nowday shape: he used early Gothic vault and divided the room in two aisled hall. The red chalk paintings in the vault were made in 1517...more
The locutory was built in among 1493 and 1495 by Conrad of Schmie and it has got interesting paintings of animals and plants. The Chapterhouse is a two aisle and three columned hall built in the mid of 14th century and it is a interesting example of Gothic architecture.more
The wonderful ambulatory has got a square shape. The south wing was built in 1210 and it is called the Reading Arcade and it was made by the Master of Paradise. Here you can see fantastic examples of Romanesque capitals. The remaining wings of the ambulatory were finished aroun 1280/1310 and you can see many parts in Gothic style.more
In the monks' church you can see the wonderful choir stalls with 92 seats made in 1450 under the influence of the Ulm woodcarving artisans. In the choir you can also see a fantastic sedilia for the abbot and two deacons made in 1480. On the walls you can see two interesting frescoes showing Bishop Gunther of Speyer and Ritter Walther of Lomersheim....more
The interior of the church of St.Mary is very nice and it shows the Cistercian simplicity. It is in Romanesque style with ten bays in lenght and arcaded. The space is divided by the 3.20 meters choir screen: it separates the monks' area from the lay brothers. The crucifix was made in1473. In the Lay Brothers'church you can see two Gothic...more
Before to enter in the cloister you must pass the arcade. On the right you can see teh Cellarium (nowday the Lapidarium) vaulted with strip-shaped cross ribs made in 1201. On the left you can see the lay refectory, built in 1201, vaulted by the Master Of Paradise as you can see in the capitals, it was restored in the 19th century.more
The Paradise is a three aisled single-bay narthex built among 1210 and 1220 in Gothic style. To the architect was given the title of Master of Paradise. In 1457 the roof was replaced with the flat hippen roof. The narthex vault were painted durign the Late Gothic period; nowday you can see only few remants pf plants and allegoric figures.The doors...more
The heart of the monastery is the St.Mary Church which was built in 1147 and consecrated in 1178. The facade of the church is very modest and nice with roof spire. On the corner of the church you can see the granary which was built in the 13th century. Has you can see from the photos it has got Gothic lancet windows.more
Update May 2013:
In April we were going to try another restaurant in Maulbronn, a Greek one which we had heard was really good. But despite the fact that we arrived well into their opening hours, they were closed. No sign which may have explained why, so guess what we did: We went back to the Klosterschmiede again. Very good as always, friendly service, good food - what more can you ask.
So when we were back in Maulbronn for Mother's Day, we had booked a table there without trying any other restaurant and it was the same experience: Good Swabian food, a friendly waitress and you get your money's worth.
Update June 2012:
In the meantime we have been there again and again and I always forget to take a picture. The food is very good, the staff is friendly and helpful and though it's a bit more expensive than some other restaurants in Maulbronn it's worth the money.
The last time in Maulbronn we walked to three or four restaurants and checked the menus outside, in the end we decided to go to the Klosterschmiede once more.
Next time I'll try to remember to take a picture.
The Klosterschmiede is one of the two restaurants inside the wall of the monastery. It belongs to the hotel where we stayed and the receptionist advised us to reserve. We did and it turned out to be a very good tip.
Even though it was October it was still warm enough to sit outside in the yard, surrounded by
the medieval buildings.
We were discussing what to eat and I had just decided to try the pumpkin soup, when the waitress said she had overheard that some of us were vegetarians. She said despite its name the pumpkin soup was not vegetarian.
I thought this was very nice of her. Too often waiters don't know or don't care what was used for cooking, no matter if guests ask about meat or because of allergies.
I decided to have the local Maultaschen, a sort of pasta dough with various fillings. Other dishes we tried were the lentils with home-made Spätzle - a sort of tiny noodles - and pork with mushroom sauce. A bottle of the very good wine from Maulbronn and for the beer drinker black beer - we were very happy and spent some nice hours there. Since I hadn't had the soup I was able to eat dessert - apple pancakes with custard - also very good.
This is not a place to go when you are in a rush, and it's also not a very cheap place. The food was freshly made and this takes time. We got our money's worth and I can really recommend this restaurant.
Favorite Dish: The local dish the Maultasche is offered in several varieties, we haven't had them all but those we had were very good.
Coming from Stuttgart don't take a train at the station Muhlacker if you have not a connection to the Maulbronn Stadt. Wait for the bus 700. It brings you directly to the monastery. The bus operate evey two hours and it stops close to the gate. Coming by train is very unconvenient.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Maulbronn Local Customs
The Maultasche is a local dish, something like a pasta square filled with a meat and spinache mixture or any other mixture. It is well known in all of south-western Germany.
Maulbronn claims to have been the town where this dish was invented.
The story is that a monk in the cloister had hidden some meat, it was lent and it strictly forbidden to eat meat. But he didn't want to let it go waste, so he decided to hide it underneath pasta dough. He chopped up a lot of spinache and herbs, cut the meat in very small pieces, mixed it all together and then folded the dough around the mixture. The legend says that all the poor from the area were more than happy with this new dish and they expressed their gratitude. The monks also loved it, but they weren't allowed to speak.
The dish became known as the Maulbronner Nudeltaschen - Maulbronner pastabags - too long a word so it got shortened to Maultaschen.
And why the name Maulbronn? Here the story says that a mule - Maultier in German - had discovered a fountain - bronn in old German - and so the cloister was named Maulbronn. There is an old fountain with the picture of the mule engraved in sandstone.
Maulbronn Off The Beaten Path
Bretten is a nice, small town , less than half an hour by car from Maulbronn. We stopped there to visit the Schutzengelmuseum, a museum for guardian angels.
This museum is inside an old, half-timbered house, beautiful in itself to look at, but a listed building and as such not much changed inside. This means there are steep stairs and no lift.
On the ground floor and one of the upper floors there was an exhibition about different types of windows used in these old, half-timbered houses. While this was surprisingly interesting - I admit I had never before thought about what type of window you need for an old house - it was not the main reason we had come.
My mother wanted to see the guardian angel exhibition, and this was on the upper floors.
It was very difficult for her to climb the stairs, it took a lot of time and was quite painful. But it was worth it.
There were many pictures of scenes when guardian angels protect children, some not really great art but actually a bit kitschy. What I found very interesting were the additional explanations, how the concept of guardian angels can be seen in many religions all over the world. Apart from the paintings of guardian angels there were painting of their counterparts in other religions.
This museum is well worth a visit, but not if you have any problem walking. We talked to the man at the entrance and he told us they had tried just about anything to get permission for a lift, but as it is a historical building they never got this permission. He said this was especially bad, since most of their visitors interested in guardina angels were elderly people who usually had great trouble with the stairs.
Right now (winter 2012) there is special exhibition about festivities of light in winter around the world, Christmas, Hanukkah, Lucia etc. We would have loved to go there, but my mother's problems have got worse and there is no way she could manage the stairs now.
The entrance is free, you're welcome to give a donation.
It is open on weekends and holidays from 11:00 to 17:00Related to:
- Religious Travel
Check your purse and you may find Maulbronn in it... In the series of commemorative 2 € coins that are dedicated to Germany's federal states, in 2013 it is Baden-Württemberg's turn and they chose Maulbronn abbey as their representative. The reverse side of the coin has two pictures. The smaller one on the left shows the fountain in the cloister,...more
Entering the church you have to introduce your ticket to a ticket machine. If you leave you are not able to reenter the church. Go back to the information centre and ask for a free ticket. The nice lady there will print you another one and you will be very happy that you'll be able to see a thing you've missed.more
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