I’d been to the abbey church years before and wanted to see if anything had changed … As expected, the thousand-year old church looked more or less the same with many tourists coming and going. I’d forgotten how beautiful the porch-like opening, called “the Paradise,” with interior courtyard garden was and later read how rare such structures now are. We could see signs of wear and tear, but the church is obviously still in use and not just a tourist attraction. There’s a large nursery selling all sorts of plants, a huge bookstore selling books and souvenirs, and other additions that seem to cater to conventions. The surrounding area with gardens, wooded areas, and meadows leading to the Maria Laach volcanic caldera lake is attractive enough for me to imagine spending more than just a couple of hours here. And the distance to the next train station would be far enough to discourage convention guests from rambling off – no doubt another advantage in planning a conference here.
Believer or not, Catholic or not (I'm not), this place is very special.A tip for a secluded retreat, meditation,... Nice energy. Old style and habits all around, enjoy it.People ahve been coming here for more than 1000 years because the place is so special.The Abbey was built in 1093 and has been subject to all kinds of fires, revolutions, expropriations but still people were and are drawn to this place.Staying in the quaint spa hotel on the premises seemed just the thing :-)There are no villages in the whole vulcanic basin except for the abbey and the hotel & greenhousesand plant- and bio shops.The lake is the crater lake of the surrounding vulcanoes of the Eiffel Vulcanic area.Walking around it takes a few hours. Visiting the Abbey depends on your interest. There's the Roman church itself with sober decoration, special statues, glassworks and mosaics.The monks come to the church 5 times a day for prayer and a mass with chants.We were visiting when the organ player started rehearsing. Impressive, enjoy! The vibrations and accoustics... I now understand how Catholicism won the hearts of the people with art and these accoustics and sound effects. It's a great show even if you're not religious.The life of the monks in the Abbey is shown in a movie of 20 minutes that is shown from 10.00 until 11.30.
A beautiful abbey in a wonderful setting. Make sure to walk through the forrest too and also down to the lake. A gift shop, book store, self service restaurant, and an organic store. The latter even sells old varieties of apples that are almost extinct. Here you can also buy the local meat, which we did. On a sunday the abbey is very busy. We ended up having a small lunch at the Seehotel and then drove to the Cafe Waldfrieden nearby. This is a wonderful idyllic place to visit.
I visited to see this historic church, but the grounds, gardens and nature walk would also be worth the visit.
Beautiful Benedictine Abby situated in the rolling" new" lanscape of the Rhineland. A nice place to stroll slow down, stretch your legs,soak it all in. Interesting geolgy of region found on signs into the Abby. A bit off the beaten path worth a side trip on the way or to other attractions. Food from a sausage/ beer hut and and a small organic food store located near the car park on the opposite side of the road.
A lovely part of the world, well worth a visit. A "living" abbey in a beautiful natural setting. Take your time here and reflect on where you are heading in life.
Beautiful, peaceful Benedictine abbeyThe abbey Maria Laach is located in one of the youngest landscaps of Europe, in the Vulkaneifel. It and the sourrounding hills came about 10.000 b. C. through volcanic eruption1093 the first abbey was built and consecrated by Benedictine monksin 1855 the abbey buildings where largely destroyed by fire1863 the Jesuits reconstructed and built their Collegium Maximum1892 once again the Benedictine monks resettled thereBeautifull church and landscape, very tastefull and exquisit giftshop, art, bronze items, own gardenshop.Nearby (crater) lake, walkway all around, great place to visit for all generations, dogs are allowed and even have plenty of water holes
the grounds here were beautiful, even the monk's cemeterythe church is immense and very cold in March - that doesn't take away from the peace and serenity of the placethe abbey sustains itself with a gift shop and garden centre. The gift shop had lovely glass pieces and many religious books in german. The garden shop had beautiful plants, planters and lovely garden items
You've never seen anything like this. Hard to believe it survived all these years (built in the 1200's). Not huge, just very nice. Do not miss it and take-in the movie (four languages). Leave a donation. Very nice.
We have visited the Benedictine Abbey of Maria Laach many times over the years and are drawn back again and again. Founded in 1093, the abbey is built close to the shores of the Laacher See, a large lake in the basin of an extinct volcano, and is surrounded by nature and beautiful flower gardens. You follow the road around the lake, catching glimpses of the abbey as you approach. Parking is in a large car-park, for which there is a small fee, and from there you follow the footpath through an overpass and up a long, slight slope and then on to the abbey, a masterpiece of German Romanesque architecture. From the moment you step into the porch, surrounding a small courtyard, it is as if you stepped into another, and far more tranquil, world. Allow yourself at about an hour to walk around the abbey and to take time to sit and absorb the atmosphere. If you are fortunate enough to be there when the monks pray the Liturgy of the Hours, you can stay and listen to them intoning their timeless chant and if you want to, you can quietly creep into a side chapel and pray without the distraction of tourist feet.After visiting the abbey, stop in at the plant nursery. They sell very healthy, houseplants and garden plants at an extremely reasonable price, along with beeswax candles, fudge, jams etc. and a variety of garden ornaments. Also, take the time to visit the main shop, selling all manner of religious items, books, CDs and so on. It is a bit pricey but if you enjoy browsing, a real treat. You can also eat at an outdoor garden, or indoors at a buffet-style cafe, or indeed, at the hotel. Then if you have time, take a stroll down to the lake. Maria Laach is best enjoyed slowly and easily makes for a whole afternoon out although the highlights can be enjoyed in a couple of hours.
This is a fun stop just to stretch your legs. It's a little off the beaten path, but worth the time. Nothing too spectacular, but fun to see.
I was fortunate to visit the Maria Laach Abbey in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany for a spiritual retreat. This is an hidden jewel of a place. Historically the Abbey is 900 years old and is run by Benedictine Monks. There are 49 monks and an additional 150 workers who provide self-supporting services. They have an organic farm, an apple grove (12,000 trees), a metal works shop, a gardening shop, artists in painting, ceramics, metal work and sculpture, wine making. The abbey is beautiful, well taken care of and we were able to view a 20 minute DVD on its history and a typical day in the life of a father (priest) and brother(artisan) of the order. They pray/sing 4x a day, work about the monastery, have prayer and mediation time and even a nap! They have a women's order also. The oldest monk is in his 90's. I was able to listen to them sing Gregorian chant in latin for Vespers (glorious) (5PM) and later a noon service sung in German. It is inspiring. The monks were very open to questions about their lives. They live simply but not sparsely, see their families, go on holidays but live at this monastery for their entire lives. They are even given singing lessons so they can learn to sing Gregorian chant. The young monks/novices give 5 years of a testing time before the monastery votes on whether then can be accepted into the order. If 30% or more of the members do not think they are ready or appropriate they will not be able to join. Next to the Abbey is a very good hotel (4 star) with excellent rates. The food is well presented but very rich. I prefer the simple restaurant next door. Great and exceptional gifts can be found on the grounds. The garden shop has many plants that are reasonably priced. They will wrap your gifts if you ask. I shopped for Christmas! I would not recommend it for young children but for couples, friends and even to go solo. I loved it and will go again.
Definitely worth seeing. The inside of the church is quite stunning and understated. The whole complex is quite nice...nice garden and flower shop. Not much to buy at any of the stores that you would say is on sale per se. The lake next to the Abbey was the only disappointing thing; no shoreline to it at all. It's nice to look at, and you can walk or run around the entire thing, that's about it.
This a beautiful Abbey in beautiful surroundings. The church is beautful and so peaceful with the opportunity for prayer and meditaion. Iti s a glorious building. The surroundings are lovely and there is a garden centre and cafeteria.
The info we had seen prior to our visit told us of the metalworking done here, etc and implied that we would see this being done. But what you see is the church --big, stunning and romanesque, worth seeing, but not what our sons wanted to see (they were all churched out as they put it)Good restaurant, garden centre and gift shop.