Benedictine Maria Laach Abbey is located on the shoresof Lake Laach. It was founded in 1093, the first Count Palatine of the Rhine HeinrichII von Laach with his wife Adelheid. They had no children, and in the hope ofdivine help, the spouses made a vow to build a monastery, where they could prayfor having children and successful resolution of the burden. The constructionof the monastery was completed in the XIII century. The Abbey is called AbteiLaach in German meaning “abbey near lake”; the name of the Virgin Mary wasadded only in the XIX century, when the monastery was owned by the Jesuits forsome time.
Today, the abbeyis one of the largest functioning monasteries in Germany. Every year itattracts a lot of pilgrims and tourists. The abodes are owned by a farm; thelake itself has a full range of tourist services (camping, boat rental, andfishing), a hotel, a small publishing house and a café. Demonstrations ofancient crafts are organized at the workshops and lessons are given for thosewishing.
But the maindecoration of Maria Laach is, of course, the cathedral, which is a magnificentexample of Romanesque architecture in Germany. The relatively small building,decorated with intricate turrets, looks more like a fairy tale castle than areligious building, and looks very impressive both outside and inside.