Reichenau-Mittelzell. Photo: Wikipedia.

Island of Monasteries Reichenau

The Lake Constance region bears witness to the important role played by monasteries in the Middle Ages in the religious and cultural life of this part of Baden-Württemberg. For centuries this region, together with the episcopal city of Constance, formed a cultural unity.

The intellectual and artistic activity of the religious orders marked the cultural environment of Lake Constance and had an influence far beyond this region, also in present-day Switzerland.

Most monasteries were founded between the 8th and 13th centuries. The agricultural activity on the island of Reichenau, which started in the early Middle Ages by the Benedictines, still largely determines the current landscape.

The monks of Reichenau not only built chapels and churches on the monastery island, but they also created one of the most famous monastery schools in Europe, where the production of illuminated manuscripts and frescoes were cultivated to perfection.

Many works of these artistic and intellectual feats from Reichenau can still be admired today. In 2000 the monastery island was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. (Source: