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Monday, 30 August 2010

Interesting places...

Yesterday Mausi and the Monk took Mausi's mother out to lunch in a place called Seligenstadt. This is an acient city, built on the River Main, which was a flourishing centre of trade. One of the "Free Cities" of the Carolingian Empire, it held this status until annexed by the Prince Archbishop of Mainz in the 16th Century. The jewel in its crown is the beautifully kept Basillica Church of St Mark and St Peter and the attached monsatic range and gardens.

The Church building is Romanesque, though during the 17th and 18th Centuries it was given the Baroque treatment. That hasn't spoiled its simple architecture which can be seen in the accompanying pictures. The picture of the interior is taken from the wrought iron screen beneath the lantern crossing and looking west to the organ loft and gallery. The statues are from the Baroque as is the flat ceiling which probably hides a vaulted roof. The East end begins at the crossing and is of later date than the rest. This church and monastery were founded in 830 AD by one Einhard, the first Abbot, in thanks at having found his lost daughter in the town.

Einhard's remains are kept in a golden reliquary beneath the crossing altar and can be seen from the screen. The monastery itself underwent a serious rebuilding in the 17th and 18th Centuries but still boasts a working water mill grinding flour (Bread can still be bought from the bakehouse) and the formal gardens, seen in the photograph above are fabulous. A museum allows visitors to see the life of a Benedictine monastery like this one and a tea shop allows you to enjoy the traditional Benedictine hospitality at moderate cost.

The purpose of our visit was to have lunch though, and this we duly did in a fabulous Italian restuarant just outside the monastic enclosure. It has to be the first time in a while I haven't been asked how big I'd like me steak or how I'd like it cooked. The size was a simple matter of "large" and as for the cooking. Well, perfection just about covers it. Mausi's mother had a fish dish and Mausi opted for a pasta - both assure me that it was excellent.

Pity about the rain shower - stair rods about covers it - but it was worth the wetting.

So was the coffee and the home cooked 'kuchen' when we got home to Rotdorn - a leon cheescake style which is not only repeatable, but desireably heavenly.

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