Maulbronn monastery

Tue, 2011-07-05 21:30
26. June 2011
At two in the morning their night was over. Drunken with sleep they raised from their beds, stumbled down the dark staircase and entered the church, everybody to the place in the stalls assigned to him on his entry to the brotherhood. 
Prayers and hymns went on for hours, sending them into a trance-like state, where the border between the low earth and the heavens seemed to dissolve. Services repeated throughout the day. Talking was only allowed during chapter meetings, and in the parlor room. The humble meals were taken in silence, while one brother was reciting verses from the holy scripts. Some brothers never, after having entered the brotherhood in their early years, left the inner sanctum, the few steps between the dormitory, the church and the cloisters. A life completely disconnected from the rest of the world.
Was it a relief, being without sorrows, fed and bedded, all ambition and pursuit directed to the heavenly hereafter? Or was it torture, being caged in this world of naked stone, deprived of sleep and treats, bare of every inspiration other than the scripture and the infinitely repeated prayers?  We will never know, and most inhabitants did not leave any trace of their existence, even their bodies were hastily buried in an unmarked strip of grass next to the church. Just their shadows may whisper to you, when you close your eyes in the cool hallways. 


49° 0' 3.312" N, 8° 48' 42.8148" E