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Weingarten


Guest Geoff McMahon
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Guest Geoff McMahon

After almost 1,000 years of occupation by the monks, the last few said farewell to their monastery on (I believe) Sunday the 17th of October. The numbers have been dwindling over the past twenty years or so and the continued occupation by them became untenable. At the end there were only three of them. Quite a sad day for all. Weingarten has influenced the surrounding area for hundreds of years.

 

The church itself is, of course, not being closed. It is a significant tourist attraction and services will continue to be held there.

 

For those who can read German, there is a report here:

 

http://www.schwaebische.de/lokales/weingar...Id,4175395.html and here:

 

http://www.rundschau-online.de/html/artike...880063443.shtml

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After almost 1,000 years of occupation by the monks, the last few said farewell to their monastery on (I believe) Sunday the 17th of October. The numbers have been dwindling over the past twenty years or so and the continued occupation by them became untenable. At the end there were only three of them. Quite a sad day for all. Weingarten has influenced the surrounding area for hundreds of years.

 

The church itself is, of course, not being closed. It is a significant tourist attraction and services will continue to be held there.

 

For those who can read German, there is a report here:

 

http://www.schwaebische.de/lokales/weingar...Id,4175395.html and here:

 

http://www.rundschau-online.de/html/artike...880063443.shtml

 

Sad indeed. This great hill-top basilica and complex of monastic buildings must have been a remarkable place in its heyday. There are still a few functioning monasteries in this part of the world - Ottobeuren, Neresheim, Ochsenhausen - but one wonders how long they will continue. All have amazing 18c organs - by Riepp, Holzhey and Gabler respectively.

 

Stephan Debeur, organist at Weingarten - seen at the console in the first link above - is a talented, enthusiastic and hospitable ambassador for Gabler's wonderfully OTT rococo confection there.

 

The Swabian/South German Orgellandschaft, with its associated scenic and vinicultural attractions, will continue to draw visitors for a long time to come.

 

JS

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