Maulbroon Abbey Complex- The Best Preserved Medieval Cistercian

Maulbroon Abbey Complex located in Central Germany

Maulbroon Abbey ComplexMaulbroon Abbey Complex, situated on the outskirts of Maulbroon, Germany is the best- preserved medieval Cistercian monastery complex in Europe. This complex has been separated from the town by fortifications and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1993. Apart from being the best-preserved and most complete monastic complex, the Maulbroon Abbey also stands as a specifically representative example of medieval architecture.

This Maulbroon monastery was founded in 1147 though the central church came into existence in 1178 which was then dedicated to the Virgin Mary. One peculiar quality of the main church is that it was built in a style transitional from Romanesque to Gothic, which had a substantial influence on the spread of Gothic architecture over many of the northern and central Europe.

Several other buildings of the complex such as cellar, auditorium, refectory and etc. were built in the 13th century, whereas most fortifications and the fountain house were constructed in 14th century

Explore Gothic Architecture at the Maulbroon Abbey Complex

The church consists of a two-story Romanesque nave and a low chevet leading to a transept with three rectangular chapels opening off each arm. A stone screen was created to separate the monks from the lay brethren. The Gothic vaulting of 1424 that replaced the original wooden beams mutated the rigid spatial divisions practiced during the lifetime of St Bernard of Clairvaux, integrating the Romanesque traditions of the Hirsau region into the Cistercian requirements of austerity and renunciation.

The fortifications consist of two walls, an outer wall, and an inner wall. There are many post-monastic buildings within the designated area, mainly in plastered stone such as the former hunting lodge of Ludwig, Duke of Württemberg, and the ducal stables etc. inspired by Renaissance elements.

Visit the Maulbroon Abbey Complex for History and Innovation

The Cistercian Order was renowned for its innovations in the field of hydraulic engineering and Maulbroon monastery complex is a great example of that. There are several reservoirs, irrigation canals, and drains, which were aimed at providing water for the use of community, and for agriculture; though after the secularization of the monastery’s land in 19th century, things have quite changed.

The Maulbroon Abbey Complex, with so much to offer, is a place you must visit. This German UNESCO site will enthrall you with its history, architecture, style and innovation.

The Medieval Marksburg Castle

Marksburg Castle is one of the principal sites of the UNESCO World Heritage Rhine Gorge and holds the distinction of being the only hill castle on the Rhine that has never been destroyed. The castle was built to protect the town of Braubach and was used mainly for protection rather than as a residence for royal families.

Marksburg Castle Stands The Test Of Time

Marksburg Castle is one of Germany’s prominent historical sites and stands as a rare example of history virtually undisturbed by the passage of time. Lived in for over 700 years, this castle has survived through the ravages of time to be one of the best examples of medieval architecture in Germany. The fortress has undergone several additions and developments over the centuries, growing into its present day shape. The only serious damage the Marksburg Castle ever suffered in hostilities occurred near the close of WWII when it was shelled from the west bank of the Rhine River.

One of the most important Rhine castles, the Marksburg Castle stands atop a hill rising above the town of Braubach on the right bank of Rhine River, upstream from its junction with the Mosel River. The unusually slender keep of the castle towers above the surrounding courts and ramparts.

Dating back to the construction of the keep in the 12th century, the fortress has been ever-changing and growing into its present shape through succeeding centuries. In the Middle Ages, the strengthening of the castle’s defenses became indispensable and urgent by improvements made to firearms. Certain significant changes were made during this period such as the huge outworks as well as the conversion of a gateway in the outer wall to a strong bastion. It was mainly due to these additional defense works that the castle could be protected from serious attacks many times. During peaceful times, Marksburg Castle was used mainly as a state prison.

You would be enthralled to visit this most original castle and the entire valley of the Loreley. This wonderful castle, home of the German Castles Association which is set up to preserve such ancient monuments, presents a host of captivating artifacts coming alive from the middle ages.

Visit Marksburg Castle on our select Rhine River Cruises!