Date(s): 2007. Photos by Aymar. 1 - 94 of 94 Total. 5907 Visits.
1 Hirsau, the Carolingian Ambo Hirsau has a history of failed abbeys. A first one is recorded in Pippin times (8th century, possibly earlier). A second or third one dates from the Carolingian period (early 9th century). Some banded pulpit fragments survive. The largest is shown here. (Technically an 'ambo', the Greek word for mount / speaker's rostrum is always useful if you cannot make up your mind if something should be regarded as pulpit or as lectern, the latter usually unadorned.)
The church served as shrine for the reliques of Aurelius (plural in analogy with bones?) They did come from Milan like all good reliques at the time (the Three Magi shrine of Cologne). The reliques disappeared subsequently until Leo IX insisted on a general search at the occasion of a visit of state in 1049. Semi-official version, the reliques were secreted away by one of the last monks of the Carolingian monastery. (Inherent question: where do you hide bones in an abbey. An oblique Calvin comment, usually so...
2 Hirsau,St.Aurelius The is a model of 11th century St.Aurelius of the eponymous abbey. Only part of the nave and the bases of the Western towers remain. Some of the stones of the missing parts will have gone into the construction of Ludwig's upscale hunting lodge (the Renaissance annex of the Hirsau Abbey).
3 Hirsau, St. Aurelius The Earl of Calw (Adalbert II) and patron saints in front of St.Aurelius (in the picture still with clearstory). Possibly part of a lost triptych, ca 1480.
4 Hirsau, St.Aurelius One of the massive Romanesque pillars in the nave of the church. The rather dark interior may give the involuntary impression of a nightclub. Technical explanation: The whole clearstory superstructure has been removed. The dismantling will reverse the normal building process. Nightclub tangent, some stained glass windows but no strobe light effects. [The crescent shape 'watermark' on the unadorned capitel is a hallmark of churches affiliated with Hirsau. The present pillars are 12th century. I have to assume that the original arcades were replaced. You normally do this as soon as your are finished with the roofing.]
5 Hirsau, St.Aurelius
6 Hirsau, St.Aurelius Reliquary caskets were once encrusted with actual jewels. Semi precious stones (lapis lazuli and amethyst) are employed in this case. Main stylistic objection, the tapered acorn shape (LED shape) is too uniform. One bead size serves all. The bronze table and reliquary casket are by Otto H.Hajek (refugee by name and place of birth), 1955. See no clear connection between the inscription (work ethic, do not sleep on the job) and the healing and resurrection motive.
7 Hirsau, St-Aurelius The Spanish Madonna, 14th century. - Supplicant and benefactor. A surrogate hearing. Some Platonic background space. (Wheeled juggernauts for all occasions.)
8 Hirsau, St.Aurelius
9 Hirsau, St.Aurelius Just wide enough for passing through a cup of hot java (or a collection box for that matter). And walls have arms.
10 Hirsau, the Abbey and the Castle Model of the Peter and Paul abbey, the Hirsau Abbey per se. It is located at the left side of the Nagold on more elevated, less inundation prone ground. Wilhelm, the legendary prior, supervised its construction while still residing in the St.Aurelius abbey. I suspect that he was not only learned but also a heck of a fund raiser. Hirsau abbey experienced a period of rapid growth in the second half of the 11th century. These periods of rapid growth are more the rule than the exception in monastery history. Lay brethren became also prominent in this period.
Wilhelm was also somewhat of a software writer like most renowned persons of his time. If one does it all do it. Only difference that the op codes dealt in this case with the day by day life of the monks, which was regulated in the most minute detail. Particular name of this office suite: Institutionis Hirsaugensis. By what I gather basically a Cluny rip off. Discipline was highly valued.
Maquette > KMH
11 Hirsau, Peter and Paul Abbey On site ground plan, Peter and Paul Abbey and Renaissance Castle.
The whole cloister was shifted a few meters to the East during a 15th century overhaul. That way you could built a Gothic walkway right at the side of the Romanesque one before tearing down the latter. The idea would not work for the East-West walkways. The dogleg in the North-East corner is a remaining testimony of that shift. The whole Romanesque basilica may at one time have been earmarked for a similar treatment. As long as it keeps everyone busy. Corollary: All the other buildings attached to the cloister had to be shifted likewise. In case you just shake your head, the basilica towers were originally built at the wrong end. The West end twin towers were a second attempt.
12 Hirsau Abbey, the Coat of Arms The abbey's coat of arms purports to show just the two patron saints, Peter and Paul, even though it looks suspiciously like a local interpretation of the doctrine of the two swords.
The Hirsau Abbey stood firmly in the Guelfic (Guelphic) camp. (Even before that particular name was coined.)
Slightly cynical abstract, weak popes who had any particular sovereignty ideas (erstwhile terminology, 'entitled to hand out swords') were put into empty barrels of herring and shipped to the nearest reeducation camp. Popes who had strong allies (Norman kingdoms, Lombardic townships, Guelf contenders, self serving strong men) did get away with it. - The herring barrel is free invention, death by maltreatment did however occur. So much for the sheer dignity of the office. Post Staufic period. The Emperors are gone, the arbitration problems persist.
13 Hirsau Abbey, feudal holdings Map of the feudal holdings of the Hirsau abbey in the 12th century. A general austerity program did not mean that the revenue side of things was in any way neglected.
Most of the land endowment did come with obligations. This was particularly true for a founding donation. 'Do ut des', which is Latin for Indian gift. Material as well as spiritual support was in this case expected (beyond perpetual memorial services). Strong argument for a switch to the Guelfic side, reduced service obligation, half a loaf is better than nothing (it was not called taxation at the time). - Land endowed parish churches were also run by the abbey.
The abbey tried to consolidate its heteroclite holdings in later centuries. A mutually beneficial arrangement with other abbeys should have been possible.
Map > KMH
14 Hirsau, Eulenturm Eulenturm, view from the cloister by Luz, ca 1900. > KMH
15 Hirsau, Eulenturm
16 Hirsau, Eulenturm
17 Hirsau, Eulenturm
18 Hirsau, Eulenturm The first three stories were done in finest ashlar. Often more a curse than a blessing (keyword, building stone recycling). The two broken arch springs which connected it with its dismantled twin tower can still be seen. - Some bas-reliefs (arches inscribed within arches waiting for a virtual aqueduct.)
19 Hirsau, Eulenturm
20 Hirsau, Eulenturm Hardly the most winsome caryatid you could imagine.
21 Hirsau, Eulenturm Watching the sunset (the shading hand somewhat pointless). More likely just a lookout. Still waiting for the dragon boats, straining against the current. (I do not think the Nagold is navigable. Downstream rafts at the limit.)
22 Hirsau, Eulenturm mischievous goat
23 Hirsau, Eulenturm Nearly head jointed corner lion. Beware of the canines.
24 Hirsau, Eulenturm Do I hear the ringing of a curfew bell and some hastily cited Hail Maries.
25 Hirsau, Eulenturm The base of the Eulenturm twin. A new parsonage was built with the rest. (18th cent.) Sledgehammer first.
26 Hirsau, Eulenturm Praying monk (Ovid quip, desinit in mermaid, 4th case ending) from the razed South tower (quarry fate, the stones were used for the 18th century vicarage.) Greiner find from 1923. Sculpture itself is dated ± 1123, somewhat later than the main abbey, the aforementioned tower castling. Motive is of some importance (missing link territory). Even as the church itself was divided into a patres and a lay brethren half so one tower frieze will have been dedicated to each of the two communities. (Represented by bearded lay brethren and clean shaven monks respectively. The clean shaven look is Roman gentry tradition.)
Greiner, the local historian in charge of the dig, proposes an interesting though unlikely theory: Starting with the observation that only one of the three shepherds seems to shoulder any actual load, the poor South facing one, he conjectures that an inclined plane, speak the ecliptic, is actual carried. Suggested extension from my part: the algae covered father and ...
27 the Romanesque basilica Artistic reconstruction of the 11th century basilica. Cluny emulation. Fact sheet: With a total length of 97m one of the largest in the world at the time. Certainly amble room for the 100 to 200 monks and an unspecific number of lay brethren. Hardly a stone remains today. Overall impression, an empty football field. Melac hardly the only culprit of this sorry state of affairs. Many of the good citizens of Calw will have sized the opportunity to upgrade their burnt down wooden dwellings to stone mansions. > On site showboard
28 the Romanesque basilica The well rounded Northern transept doorway. (Some doors at the time still used concave pivot stones rather than iron hinges.)
29 the Romanesque basilica Cloister or cemetery gate. (The abbey cemetery did became the cabbage garden of the vicarage. At present just a well tended lawn with a small lapidarium in the North corner.)
30 the Romanesque basilica Cross ribbed keystone ornament (draped in stone). You would have gotten the best view on all those keystones floating in supine position on a raft during a flooding. Might have come from one of the basilica adjacent chapels. > KMH
31 the Romanesque basilica Cross ribbed keystone ornament, St.John. A chicken may have served as model (reduced wing span). > KMH
32 the Romanesque basilica ornamental checkerboard banding, in situ
33 the Romanesque basilica Ornamental checkerboard banding, museum's exhibit. Most likely a matching clearstory fragment. > KMH
34 the Romanesque basilica Wolfram Maiser, abbey prior for more than 30 years. The Doge look (ear flaps) will be accidental. I do not know if the basilica choir and the 'overflow' chapels showed only the effigies of the priors or of if they were in fact buried there. I suspect the later. Death cult was an integral part of the monastic life style. > KMH
35 Abbey, the cloister arcades
36 Abbey, the cloister arcades my alter ego is also there
37 Abbey, the cloister It is reported that all those windows were once glassed. Habit wearing chameleons in every changing colors doing the Corso. Visiting Roman senator: I want just same for the atrium of my Pompeii dacha. [Not sure of the overall effect. Monks covered in multi-colored skin painting during their afternoon perambulation. Transient chameleon skin only.]
38 Abbey, the cloister Personal tracery classification, 'ichthyoform'. Some color cycling from my part. No particular pattern was ever repeated.
39 Abbey, the cloister I will dedicate this one to Milka (particular brand name of Kraft Foods). No that I would recommend the munching of tracery.
40 Abbey, the cloister look into the past
41 Abbey, the cloister
42 Abbey, the cloister Cookie cutter shape in spe.
43 Abbey, the cloister One of the main architects of the Gothic cloister and the All Saints Chapel, Hans Spryss von Zabernfeld, left his personal signature on this boss. The vanished net ribbing of the cloister walks will have been similar to that of the All Saints Chapel. > KMH
44 the cloister fountain The conduits beneath the cloister fountain in Maulbronn should look rather similar. The outer ring will have been for waste water.
45 the cloister fountain the central junction
46 the cloister fountain The High Gothic superstructure. Usual multi stage model. The 'command module' including the small booster rockets has been spotted in the close by Teinach (spa tradition). The lower stages have been lost. The elevation drawing is by Trithemius (suspected birth name 'Dreifeld'). > KMH - > the surviving Teinach basin (minus the filigree pinnacles)
47 All Saints Chapel Merlon look, actually just some buttress remnants. Chapel was over 60% window surface. Could have been easily converted into a greenhouse.
48 All Saints Chapel apsis end
49 All Saints Chapel looks like a kitchen sink
50 All Saints Chapel A few of the stained glass windows of the High Gothic All Saints Chapel have turned up in faraway places. I strongly suspect a finder's keeper migration. No objection by the way. We all know what happens to glass windows of closed down factories. - Ratcheting up the crossbow. A no brand fag should normally dangle from the lower corner of the mouth. An extra ration is an extra ration. The glass painting (Speyer workshop) shows only the traditional pin cushioning but no high impact injuries from the smaller quarrels. Original > LMS.
51 All Saints Chapel a comparatively youthful prior
52 All Saints Chapels Blasius Scheltrub, the prior which commissioned this chapel, gets his generously tonsured pate patted by the abbey's key holding patron saint. Certainly a high honor, particularly for someone who looks like a picture book accountant. (No transubstantiation without a pattern book.) Scheltrub will have been buried in this chapel.
53 All Saints Chapel A distracted Ganymede pours the content of his pitcher into the lap of Pilate (or nearly so). Not that the spellbound imperial legate would notice. The captain had better clear his throat should he still wait for specific instructions. - This one is probably from a non Speyer workshop. Original > LMS
54 All Saints Chapel Aurelius in person. Personal opinion, looks just like any other backbencher. Original > Schloss Altshausen
55 Hirsau, Mary Chapel The two story construction somewhat unusual. The local zoning law did call for an uniform height of all buildings. The upper floor holds a library.
56 Hirsau, Mary Chapel Historic view before the Neo Gothic overhaul. The wheel window still absent. A two story abbey would not have allowed much light in.
57 Hirsau, Mary Chapel
58 Hawkweed Hieracium murorum or H. umbellatum. Toss up. Wall coping behind the Mary Chapel.
59 Hawkweed Silhouetted against a white cloud.
60 Hirsau, Mary Chapel late afternoon cloud break
61 Hirsau, Mary Chapel the sexton's wife makes the rounds
62 Hirsau, Mary Chapel
63 Hirsau, Mary Chapel Neo Gothic wheel window. It probably comes with just enough tracery to qualify also as rose window.
64 Hirsau, Mary Chapel
65 Hirsau, Mary Chapel Had to remove some obstructing tracery for this shot. [Probably not a good 'crack'.]
66 Hirsau, Mary Chapel No Gothic chapel without a Saturday wedding.
67 Hirsau, Mary Chapel Net ribbing (without clear distinction between primary and supplementary ribs). In keeping with the flower theme, 'dichasium' type ribbing. (In any case prominently raised ridges.)
68 Hirsau, the Mary Chapel Pulpit is nearly certainly Neo Gothic. Artistic consideration apart, wood is just too well preserved.
69 Hirsau, Mary Chapel
70 Hirsau, Mary Chapel rosy cheeked just for variation
71 Hirsau, Mary Chapel where did I see this attribute before
72 Hirsau, Mary Chapel Cinquefoil
73 Hirsau, Mary Chapel
74 Hirsau, Mary Chapel Cut-leaved cranesbill. Either extreme heterophylly or some mixed in acanthus leaves.
75 Hirsau, Mary Chapel keystone 'crosshairs'
76 Hirsau, Mary Chapel Effigy of Johannes Hansmann from Calw, one of the last priors of the abbey. He commissioned the construction of the Mary Chapel in the early 15th century. Architect was a Martin Hillebrandt of Calw. Most of earlier priors had their effigies in the now completely despoiled main basilica.
77 abbey, the iron stove Cast-iron stoves were the latest fashion craze in the late 15th century. This plate belonged to the Gothic stove in the winter refectorium of the abbey. (I have not yet come upon an abbey fridge with with cross ribbed popsicles compartment.) - Shown figures, from left to right: Peter, Mary and Paul. (Particular arrangement may vary depending on record label. Minor euphonic concession.) Paul is holding a two handed sword. > KMH
78 iron stove plate Not est inopia timentibus deum. The stove iron plate dates from 1596. I do not think this one is from an abbey refectory. Not that there is anything wrong with the dress code. Message just somewhat too blatant. Something along the line of 'an honest day's pay for an honest day's work' could have been meant. >KMH
79 iron stove 19th century iron stove. Chamois bucks can walk them apparently unscathed. > KMH
80 Hirsau, abbey kitchen This will have been either a hot tub or the base of a horseshoe shaped stove. Location in the former kitchen will make the later more likely. - [Could also be classified as one of those cognitive trick pictures with counter intuitive shadowing.]
81 'manhole' low wall near erstwhile infirmary
82 Tilia cordata
83 Tilia cordata gall infected leaf
84 linden trees and firebugs a linden tree seed capsule serves as 'beachball'.
85 linden trees and firebugs A cluster of firebugs. Pyrrhocoris apterus or kin (some slightly variant markings). Christmas Islands have their crab seasons even as linden tree abbeys have their annual firebug fairs. Not sure what Wilhelm did make out of it. Utilitaristic viewpoint: if you cannot eat it you can always try to mash it into dye. The cheaper kind of cochineal.
86 linden trees and firebugs
87 linden trees and firebugs
88 linden trees and firebugs
89 Harebell seismic harebell
90 dandelion with head diving bug blanked out background
91 Abbey, Luz house House of Johannes Luz, the early 20th artist in residence. Vaguely Art Nouveau. - An all wooden picture postcard vending machine is shown in the abbey museum - not necessarily related.
92 Abbey, Luz house
93 Abbey, three tiered fountain Like its Maulbronn counterpart a 19th century creation based on various original parts. The limestone encrusted bottom basin is Romanesque. Overflow rim.