September 9, 2013


The Eberbach Monastery 


Since the day I found out that the monastery, where the interior scenes of Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose" were filmed, is not really far away from where I live, I wanted to go there for a visit. 


"Porta patet, cor magis - The door stands open, but the heart even more so" is the motto of the Cistercian monks who used to live in this monastery. 


To let you know about the history of Eberbach Monastery, here's a quote from (European Charter of the Cistercian Abbeys and Sites):


"The Cistercian Monastery of Eberbach is one of the most important historical monuments in Hesse. It is a top tourist attraction in the Rheingau, its significance even emphasized by the filming of Umberto Eco's novel “The name of the rose” with Sean Connery as well-known actor. 


Eberbach provides a combination of the monastery's history, architecture and a centuries' old wine culture. 


The monastery was founded in 1136 by Bernard of Clairvaux as the first Cistercian monastery on the east bank of the Rhine. It soon became one of the most active monasteries of Germany from which a number of other foundations were made: Schönau Abbey near Heidelberg in 1142, Otterberg Abbey in the Palatinate in 1144, Gottesthal Abbey near Liege in 1155, and Arnsburg Abbey in the Wetterau in 1174. 


Ebersbach Abbey was also very successful economically, principally as a result of profits from the cultivation of vineyards and the production of wine. Count Johann IV of Katzenelnbogen, who was the first to plant Riesling wines in a wineyard nearby, was buried in Eberbach. 


The abbey suffered severe damage during the Thirty Years' War, but the 18th century however was a period of great economic success. 


After secularisation (1803) management of the vineyards and wine production continued in state hands. The buildings were put to a variety of uses (prison, hospital). 


After considerable structural work Eberbach serves inter alia as a venue of international importance for cultural events and displays."


My first encounter with one of the inhabitants of the monastery was not with a monk, but with Mr. Bumblebee who was busy gathering pollen in the monastery garden.

I decided to take the round tour through the monastery which is basically represented by the pictures in the next gallery.