The garden of quiet sounds

An oasis of tranquillity: The baroque garden of the Franconian Bronnbach Monastery encourages visitors to contemplate

by Martin Erdmann

Bronnbach Monastery, a former Cistercian abbey in the Tauber Valley, is still a great place to experience some of the authentic remoteness and exceptional scenery that characterise the old Cistercian monasteries, most of which were built in water-rich valleys. Monastic life flourished in Bronnbach from 1153 to 1803, while today it impresses with a fascinating variety of cultural events and museum experiences. Only a small community of the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Family has remained in Bronnbach where they keep up religious life and worship. Another outstanding and distinctive element of Bronnbach are the gardens, in which the monastery is virtually embedded. Well worth seeing and exploring is the baroque garden located in front of the western façade of the monastery. It was recently restored and is a befitting example of the show gardens planted by monasteries during the baroque period in order to resemble the gardens of castles and palaces. Besides the plants and the symmetrical layout, water and the allegoric sculptures are a prominent element of Bronnbach Garden as they link the experience of nature with spiritual meditation. Many of them could be saved and restored. Bronnbach Garden is small in size and is hardly ever crowded by visitors. So, it is all the more worth spending a peaceful hour in this garden of quiet sounds.