Friday, 19 August 2011


 Driving to visit my parents after work, I finally took the time to stop along the way and investigate the imposing cloister complex at Markt Ebrach, formerly belonging to the Order of the Cistercians (or Trappists) Monks. I only walked around inside the glorious church, having before only seen it in passing, which was just surpassingly beautiful and unexpected with art, colour and ornament.
The village boasted a wealth of other things to see, like sculpted gardens, a curiously fortified winter garden and brewery in addition to courtyards of the cloister. The Cistercian Order took vows of silence and removed themselves from the everyday world: these enduring buildings owing to their need to be self-sufficient. I will have to return for the complete tour when I can bring H along and can devote a few hours to the spectacle.
From the main street, just passing through and dodging traffic, the church and raised abbey garden are certainly eye-catching but I did not expect so much more on closer inspection. This entire stretch of road is beautiful but quaint and without ostentation or being sequestered--also, I was noticing, that a lot of towns and villages seemed to invoke matters bovine in their names, a lot with either the prefix Vieh- or the suffix -auroch. Vieh (cattle) gives us the English word fee, as livestock is a commodity. I might not have been right with -Auroch, though, recalling the primordial and now extinct European wild cow, the Aurochs (Auerochse oder Ur auf Deutsch).
The Coat of Arms of Mecklenburg
features an Aurochs
Rather the Auroch is a tributary of the Regnitz river, which flows into the Main, then the Rhein and onto the North Sea, but I suppose the river could refer ultimately to the ancient, undomesticated bull.