Kloster und Schloss Salem

After our last “German” supper at the beer garden, mum and I strolled toward the direction from where the cyclists appeared. ‘What can it be?’ We were very curious.

Before the gatehouse building, we saw a site map of the surrounding area…

The hotel in which we stayed was two white buildings in front of the brown square building “Eingang” – a ticket office & shop.

This is another map on which you can see how vast the monastery once was…

The former monastery guesthouse and the present hotel was to be built on the edge of the monastery boundary.

Mum with Unteres Tor…

By the way, “unteres tor” means “lower gate” in German. The gatehouse was very substantial and impressive. Inside of the deep passage had no illumination and the opposite side of the gate with decorative steel gates looked like the end of tunnel.

As we walked through the gatehouse, we found a plaque on the wall…

The plaque stated “Markgräflich Badische, Court Pharmacy, former monastery pharmacy founded around 1500”. Apparently, a term “Hof-Apotheke” suggests that the pharmacy was not an ordinary kind but a court pharmacy which was for a princely court. I don’t intend to delve into the history of the pharmacy too far, but I imagine the monastery must have had a close tie with the imperial court of Holy Roman Emperor as the portrait of the abbot with a badge of the Imperial Eagle in my previous post.

There was another thing which made the place rather unique. It was a name, “Kloster und Schloss Salem”. A term “Schloss” which means “Palace” in German and it may mislead some people including me as the place was once a residence for aristocrats or royals. Contrary to my expectation, the place was used exclusively as a home for the Cistercian monks until 1803. I have been trying to find out why it was called “schloss” but my effort hasn’t bore fruit so far. If anyone knows the origin of the naming, please enlighten me!

The other side of the gatehouse was a large open turfed ground with crisscrossing footpaths and pavements.

A Baroque-style building and mum…

The building used to be Salem Abbey and now it is owned by the State of Baden-Württemberg. Inside, it houses the administration faculty of Markgräflich Badische, the cultural office of Bodensee district and a museum dedicated to the former monastery.

You may wonder why the abbey, which was established in 1134, is in Baroque style? It was because the original structure from the 12th century was destroyed by a fire in 1697 and the reconstruction was done in the style of Baroque.

An impressive church in Gothic style…

The only structure escaped the fire of 1697.

The sound of pipe organ was heard through the door which stood ajar. It seemed to be the church was holding an evening service. One thing I still remember vividly about that church was the small of the place. As we walked past the opened door, a whiff of musty smell which was like the one of cellar’s struck our nose. It smelt very very old, we agreed.

A cross on the wall of the church…

In the middle of the turfed area, there was a bust of a man, bearing an inscription “PRINZ WILHELM von BADEN”…

His family, the house of Baden, gained considerable territory in Southern Germany after the Holy Roman Empire was finally dissolved by Napoleon in 1802. Napoleon decided to reorganise the aftermath of the dissolution by giving away key territories to secure an alliance with the prince-elector of Baden and in which Salem Abbey was included.

The statue of the prince was facing squarely a building called “Marstall”…

“Marstall” means “royal stable” in German. This ornate structure was created in 1734 for the horses and carriages of the abbot and its guests. According to the guide book, the Baroque interior was still almost perfectly preserved and it was decorated with paintings and wood sculptures by Joseph Anton Feuchtmayer. If I had known more about the abbey beforehand, I could have shown all of them to mum. Damn!!

Along the Marstall, there were oblong buildings which appeared to house some studios and shops…

Some of them were clearly commercial premises and the others seemed to be used as a storage.

Beautiful roses were blooming here and there along the building…

The roses were very well kept and the place was spotlessly clean. But where is everybody? We were puzzled as there was not a single soul around us. ‘I guess all went home for the weekend already because it’s Friday?’ We reasoned as we pottered along the path.

Fancy meeting you here, your Majesty!

In one of the window, I spotted a bobblehead doll of Queen Elizabeth! The sight made us smile because it was totally unexpected.

Staying in Salem turned out to be a treat for both of us as the place was not too touristy, therefore, we could experience somewhat more authentic German atmosphere.

Did you know the place was given the biblical name “Salem”, which meant “place of peace”?

We sat on one of the wooden benches near the hotel and mused how the name was fitting to the place like Salem.

We should go back and have some rest, we stood up, patted our backsides and headed to the hotel.

Look mum, their door handle is so pretty!

Were these made by one of the blacksmiths who were displaying wroughtiron works in the windows along the abbey square?

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Beer garden @ Markgräflich Badischer Gasthof Schwanen

Before I start to write about our last German supper at their beer garden, let me fill you in with the history of this hotel. I still regret about not doing any homework before visiting this amazing place which resulted in me not allocating enough time to explore the hotel and its surrounding area.

Markgräflich Badischer Gasthof Schwanen was mentioned by the chronicler Franz Xaver Staiger in 1863. He recorded that the placed was called the “Gasthaus zum Schwanen” and it was built in 1665 as a monastery guesthouse of the Cistercian monastery.

Reichsprallat Anselm II Schwab, one of the abbots of the monastery Salem who was portrayed in 1749 by Gottfried Bernhard Göz in front of the Imperial Eagle…

Once upon a time, it was a monastery wine tavern and pub, and now, the place is a restaurant with a beer garden for the locals and visitors…

The beer garden was half-filled with guests who seemed to be enjoying a long summer evening with a lively conversation and glasses of beer.

Mum and I sat ourselves down at one of the tables and ordered beer…

Ahhh, how much we loved German beer! They were well chilled and rich without being too bitter. A perfect accompaniment to alfresco dining.

The menu was brought by a waitress who spoke very limited English and their menu was described in German only. Hmm, what should we do? We looked around and found two diners nearby who were eating something looked tempting. ‘Let’s try what they have!’ I pointed at their table and gestured to the waitress. She, in turn, nodded and disappeared into the kitchen.

While mum and I waited for our food, we sipped our beer and reminisced about our road trip. ‘Can you believe this beer garden is the last German beer garden of our holiday?’ We couldn’t help getting sentimental.

Then, the foods were brought to our table…

Mum had “Gebratene Schweinefilletmedaillons an Pfefferrahmsoße mit Eierspätzle und einum gemischten Salatteller” – fried pork fillet medallions with pepper cream sauce with egg tender pasta and mixed salad dish. She wanted spätzle because there would be nothing like it in Japan.
My last German supper was “Maishähnchenbrust an Rosmarinrahmsoße mit Basmatireis und einum gemischten Salatteller” – corned chicken breast with rosemary cream sauce with basmati rice and mixed salad dish. I hadn’t had rice for a long time, therefore, I enjoyed it very much.

While we were dining, we saw more than a few cyclists riding out from the gate nearby and were very intrigued by it. Maybe we should investigate what is behind the gate after dinner, we discussed as we chewed through our food…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Markgräflich Badischer Gasthof Schwanen @ Salem

When we arrived at Salem, the time was already 4 o’clock. ‘So we made it here in 3 hours then.’ Mum and I chatted as we unloaded bags from the car by the entrance of Markgräflich Badischer Gasthof Schwanen, our one-night abode. Hmm, where should I park my car? I scratched my head as the car park was already full and found no staff at the reception…

An wrought iron signpost of the hotel…

Mum posing at the front door…

Is anyone here?

I parked the car temporarily by the entrance, asked mum to stay with the car and went inside to look for a help. After sticking my head in almost every doorway on the ground floor, I managed to find a staff who processed our check-in. He also told me where to park my car and give me a sheet of paper with Wi-Fi password.

Our room was on the second floor and we climbed up their well polished staircase…

Before it was converted to a hotel, this building used to be a part of a local monastery. The history was reflected on their pared-down decor.

The place was very quiet…

Our room…

The furnishing was simple but it was well-tended and clean. As I opened the east-facing windows, slightly humid air rushed into the room.

‘Shall we go down, mum?’

We headed to an adjacent beer garden for a well-earned cold beer and grub…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

From Eibsee to Salem

My apology for not updating my blog regularly. It has been a bit too hectic recently and I didn’t have much time for myself. As soon as the things are settled, I shall resume the blog properly again. Thank you very much for your understanding.

Now, let’s start today’s entry!

The recent weather reminds me that we are a knee deep into the proper autumn. Gradually, I have started to notice that hue of everything around me is less vibrant from the summer’s, like we are draped in a thin layer of sheer fabric in pale dove grey. So, the summer is truly over, huh?

What a fun time I shared with my mum during last June! I couldn’t help having a deep sigh as I went through the images of our road trip on my iPhone, preparing the next blog entry. It was hard to believe that the holiday was only less than three months ago. I really must press on to finish the chronicle because my memory of the trip is fading fast, I thought with a tinge of panic.

Our next destination from Eibsee was a place called Salem. I didn’t know much about the place but I chose there as our one-night abode because it was the easiest location to find an accommodation within our budget.

*As I mentioned before, all of the photos from the car was taken by mum.

We came across a procession of priests and alter boys somewhere along our journey from Eibsee to Salem…

Unfortunately, mum failed to take the photo of the domed roofed church which we drove past. The roof was painted in gold and it resembled the Wieskirche.

Oh, we shall miss the mountains of Bavarian Alps, mum and I nodded in agreement…

It feels like it happened a light year ago. Things are more fun and exciting then…*sob*

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Going back to Eibsee

After a cake & coffee break, we headed to a cogwheel train terminal. ​

 

We queued well ahead of the time so we could grab the best seat of the train – the left side front seat of the first carriage. The reason for this was because it would guarantee an unobstructed view over Lake Eibsee.​

 

​At crossing loop 4, our train stopped to wait for oncoming uphill train.

​​

Once the trains passed each other, our downhill journey resumed.

Then, the trees thinned out and we were treated with a grand view of Lake Eibsee. The emerald green of the lake was breathtakingly beautiful!

Our train arriving at Eibsee…

 

​Are you ok, mum? She looked a little tired…

Thank you, you hardworking cogwheel train…

Without you carrying us up, we could never see the real alps with our naked eyes!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Blog at WordPress.com.