Date(s): 2007. Photos by Aymar. 1 - 24 of 131 Total. 5605 Visits.
1 Maulbronn, the layout The Cistercian Abbey of Maulbronn in the Salzach valley of the Black Forest is a 12th century foundation (1147). Particular task at hand: Salvation of humanity by the clearing of land. Apollo program of its time. (The somewhat more realistic space colonization.) Slightly recast, no quest for spiritual renovation without virgin territory. Wider timeline, secular side, the 'locator' guided settlements of Moravia and Bohemia. (Outlet of 12th century population pressure. Contemporary sales pitch: Join up and settle in the land of wild honey and Celtic forest sacra. The eternal lure of untapped resources.) The challenges of a pioneer life style did fit in well with the Cistercian austerity spirit. General watchword: back to the roots. Technical classification: second wave Cluny reformers, wider Benedictine fold. [The time of most rapid expansion of the Cistercian order was the 12th century. Conditions for a similar program would have been less favorable in the 14th...
2 Maulbronn, bird's eye view Aerial reconnaissance (an on site display). Undated. Best guess, late 50ties. You do not see too many parked cars.
3 Maulbronn, monastery without external facilities isometric projection
4 Maulbronn, ground floor
5 Maulbronn, Faustturm Built 1604. Name refers to a better known alchemist from the Paracelsus generation who reportedly lived there for two years. Thought at first that it was a sheer phantasy name because the tower did look the part. (Some pictures show a less elaborate roofing.) - [The blurred archaeopterix shapes in some of the pictures should best be ignored. Everybody knows that minor time warps can occur near monasteries.]
6 Maulbronn, cross finial, transept gable
7 Maulbronn, cross finial, minor gable
8 Maulbronn, main church, narthex side The Burgundian heritage is visible. Roughly, a conclave of Arc de Triomphes. The 'stamped in' proportions of the Western portal did leave little room for later Gothic modifications. The fronting narthex was added in 1210-1215.
Name and function. Possible usages in order of ever increasing spirituality: cloakroom, arms and walking stick (Gr.'narthex') depositary, ointment room, 'pressure lock' [should not be understood in the literal, StarTrek sense], galilea [way station], paradise [after the murals]. - There is no evidence for actual shoe storage. The use of slippers for night time services is however mentioned. Regretably not narthex related. Different routing. The broad dormitory staircase, sufficient space for at least five monks abreast offered direct choir access. Not sure if abbeys grounds are haunted by stopwatch holding priors. In any case no sliding bars as for fire fighters.)
9 Maulbronn, narthex side Sumptuous bell towers were not permitted. Loophole, modest ridge riders and ridge bells. (The hight of the ridge rider did increase in time. At present a fair emulation of a spire.)
10 Maulbronn, narthex side ridge bell
11 Maulbronn linden tree, the unbaptized leaves. Not sure if I can spot the first signs of gall infection (leaf protuberances).
12 Maulbronn, narthex cross ridge boss
13 Maulbronn, narthex infusoria slide (cleverly disguised as ceiling ornament)
14 Maulbronn, narthex The massive, iron bound main gate. Off hand, the Chartres tympanum minus the sculptures. (Initial Cistercian reform plank: All figurative representations are forbidden. The Islamic influence just palpable. Semi retraction: No calligraphic arabesques. Autograph book plant life was apparently permitted.)
15 Maulbronn, narthex views Pinnacles and a free Rorschach test. The whisper in the capitels. The silhouettes are not completely symmetrical. The top part is even decidedly lopsided.
16 Maulbronn, narthex views Pinnacle with lateral crockets and top finial. I am not completely sure where the pinnacle ends and where the finial starts. Some servicing. The grime free look is not completely natural.
17 Maulbronn, sundial Somebody did just steal the shadow.
Sideshow: the sandstones of this wall come in two colors, reddish and yellowish. 19th century railway stations were built from the same type of sandstone. Yellow sandstone in Württemberg and red sandstone in Baden. Reasons unknowns. Local identity thing. Maulbronn is located on Württemberg territory (timely Ulrich conquest) but is also reasonably close to the former border with Baden.
18 Maulbronn, sundial
19 Maulbronn, narthex views
20 Maulbronn, the 'Hacienda' part The former horse stable, city hall after the secularisation. Inscription says so. (Not necessarily the current one.) Adaptive reuses. Renaissance gable upgrade.
21 Maulbronn, vine trellis Sexton's house (Frühmesserhaus) in front of the razed Mary (Trinity) chapel.
22 Maulbronn, sexton's house
23 Maulbronn, sexton's house Two lions holding a wheel (waterwheel?). Date 1827.
24 Maulbronn, vicinity gate The local nightclub. Most monasteries had one. (Can just feel the cudgel wielding bouncer behind the face opening giving me the once-over. Is the hood pleated the right way, necktie in order.) Could also have been a calabooze. Disorderly conduct during roll call is an old Patres problem (all fan clubs non withstanding). The door was once bolted from the outside. The missing slide panel was likewise external.