Monday, 26 September 2016

Raitenhaslach

I have such good memories of visiting this old abbey back in late summer 2009.We were staying in nearby Burghausen with its gigantic castle. The weather was perfect and we hired bicycles, pedaling the few miles down the road and finding this wonderful historic place. En route was the Marienkapelle which I shall cover in another post.

Over 800 years old this is the oldest Cistercian foundation in Upper Bavaria. With a Romanesque core, the abbey  buildings were rebuilt in Baroque/ Rococo style. The church was rebuilt in 1698 as a Baroque wall pillar church, with the church interior decoration dating from 1743-6 under Abbot Robert Pendtner. Ceiling frescos by Johann Zick depict the life of St Bernard of Clairvaux.
Abbot Emmanuel II Mayr was the ambitious prelate who turned the place into a massive building site. The prelate's quarters, the Festsaal and whole commercial wing were rebuilt. A violent landslide destroyed the cloisters and led to yet more building work  The whole including the library was finished by 1785. Alas after the secularisation much of these buildings was destroyed.

I was fascinated by the remaining buildings of the abbey, peering through windows, but alas saw no opportunity to get inside.We shall have to return! I had no idea that there is a room where the Pope stayed on his way from Rome to Vienna on his abortive visit to see Emperor Joseph II. It sounds like time capsule! The Festsaal also looks beautiful and is used for concerts, It is too much to hope for experiencing this!



                               Interior of church. (Flickr. Andreas under CC)

                                      Abbey buildings,(Flickr, Susanne Tofern under CC


Room where Pope Pius VI stayed on his visit to the Emperor Joseph II in Vienna from Rome in 1782
Festsaal with ceiling by Johann Martin Heigl
Aerial view. We parked our bikes outside and touored on foot. The weather was glorious as on the photo
The prelate's dwelling alongside the church