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“Days of monastic glory long past”

Reviewed 30 July 2015

The three churches which today recall the great Benedictine heritage of this island are well worth a visit. The church of St Peter and St Paul has faded 12th century frescoes in the apse. The more impressive church of St George, with a beautiful cycle of eight wall paintings in the nave, heavily restored, is only open through guided tours. My favourite is the larger church of St Mary and St Mark: the Munster. This is basically a Romanesque structure with a late Gothic choir and a few altars and statues from later periods. Somehow it all works together. There is an example of early Christian art in the treasury, a 4th century ivory incorporated into a medieval ciborium. Monks have returned to the island after a hiatus of 250 years and there have been one or two living here since 2001. However, the monastic glory of this island is well in the past. It is not like St Gall or one of the many other great continuing monastic establishments in Germany.

Date of experience: July 2015
3  Thank Steven M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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11 - 15 of 77 reviews

Reviewed 6 May 2015

A little world of its own with villages, farms and historic churches. Lots of people cycling around but we were driving.

Date of experience: May 2015
1  Thank Alastair M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2015

Reichenau is famous for its gorgeous monastic architecture and for growing fruit and veg in huge greenhouses and on fields. The lake around acts like a massive climate regulator. Arriving on the island via a causeway, lined by trees and marshland grasses, you reach a small, intimate world, where time seems to slow down.
Certainly the beautiful spring weather - with all the trees and gardens in full bloom - helped us to enjoy this World Heritage site even more; we just couldn't fault it. We spend the night in a local hotel and after a hearty breakfast walked to the main abbey, an impressive medieval build not far from the marina. As we had an elderly couple in tow, we visited the two other churches by car with no problem for parking, but it is possible to visit the entire island by bike or even walking without too much trouble. The churches are well worth seeing, even if you are not into this sort of thing, they are always situated at beautiful vista points, so don't miss out.
Little stalls along the road sell locally grown fruit and veg, and I believe some of the greenhouses can be visited at times.
Do not forget to stop for a soup or a coffee at the Museum Café near the Munster. A unique little place, filled with books that you can borrow and return later, even by mail. A delightful idea and it seems that people are actually honest and return them. It must be the air of Reichenau….

Date of experience: April 2015
3  Thank petitefraise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2014

Rented a bike from my hotel (Steigenberger Inselhotel in Konstanz) to come here. The journey is approximately 8 km one way from the Konstanz city centre, of which the ride across the causeway connecting the island to the mainland is 3km. It is a very well marked cycling path. The path follows or is very close to the train tracks from Konstanz to the Reichenau (Bodensee) train station for a large part of the journey. The ride across the causeway is beautiful in autumn. Once you reach the island, you can go to the tourist information centre (about 2km from the end of the causeway) to pick up a map and directions. There is a suggested cycling route which you can use to take in the main sights and places of interest (the 3 monasteries, 4 small museums, the harbour area etc.). There are eateries and WCs littered around the island for the convenience of tourists. Bear in mind that although it is a UNESCO site, the historic sights are low key -there are no big hitting must see attractions and the place is very quiet. It is perfect for cycling and for those who hate crowds.

Date of experience: October 2014
3  Thank TimFP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 September 2014

On our recent brief stay in Meersburg, amongst the places that we had made a note to visit was the island of Reichenau. Easy to find but unfortunately just as easy to forget. An island that, perhaps because of it's monastic past, appears to grow every vegetable in Germany thanks to it's micro-climate. We have never seen so many shapes and sizes of pumpkins all being sold by the roadside with honesty-boxes in which money can (and should) be put. Some of the wild flower areas are, however, remarkable. But not enough to draw us back for a second visit.

Date of experience: September 2014
1  Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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