16 September: Kloster Eberbach

Before heading back to Cologne from Frankfurt, we made a nice pit stop at Kloster Eberbach, a long-defunct Cistercian monastery, now a vineyard and wine cellar.

I knew Cistercian monasteries were austere, but I hadn't realized how crazy these monks were. Not only were the walls bare and undecorated, they were vegetarians in an era without even rice or potatoes, let alone soy protein; they wore sandals throughout the year; there was no glass covering the windows; and so on and so on. There were a lot of respiratory ailments, and your life expectancy was brief.

Curiously, there were also laymen who worked at the monastery (e.g. to build stuff). Their world was literally separated from the monks' by a wall. I can barely imagine what they laymen got out of the arrangement, since they wore the monks' hand-me-downs, which would have been shabby at best. One of the laymen murdered an abbot. Frustration. Resentment.

Kloster Eberbach is where The Name of the Rose was filmed.


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