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The Monastery at Mont Sainte-Odile

I have to admit that I am a culture and history buff ... a visit to another magnificent structure filled with beautiful artworks and interesting history in a most peaceful setting.

Aerial view of the monastery showing its amazing position on the top of Mont St-Odiel

Aerial view of the monastery showing its amazing position on the top of Mont St-Odiel

The Monastery at Mont Sainte-Odile, also known as Hohenburg Abbey, was founded about 690 by Saint Odile, who was its first abbess. Set on the 760 m peak of the Vosges Mountains, the mountain is named for Saint Odile. The monastery is still used as a place of pilgrimage, but it is also a popular tourist attraction where you can wander, look or pray. It also offers accommodation for retreats or conferences.

We chose to wander and look, and it is very impressive, and a relaxed place to visit. The monastery has its own church, but when we visited a service was being held so I was unable to take photographs.

The building itself is impressive, with lovely peaceful surroundings.

St Odiel

St Odiel


Large paved courtyard, with ancient lime trees and a 12th century fountain.

Large paved courtyard, with ancient lime trees and a 12th century fountain.


Another beautiful courtyard area

Another beautiful courtyard area


Literally sitting on top of the mountain

Literally sitting on top of the mountain


Solid foundations

Solid foundations

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Two small chapels, external to the main building, are beautiful and impressive. Firstly the Chapel of Tears:

Chapel of Tears

Chapel of Tears


Chapel of Tears

Chapel of Tears


Detail, Chapel of Tears

Detail, Chapel of Tears


Detail, Chapel of Tears

Detail, Chapel of Tears

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... and also the Chapel of Angels, with its amazing mosaic ceiling.

Chapel of Angels, beautiful mosaic ceiling

Chapel of Angels, beautiful mosaic ceiling


Magnificent mosaic detail

Magnificent mosaic detail


Detail of mosaic ceiling

Detail of mosaic ceiling

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Interesting artwork on the wall, I assume depicting the first congregation of nuns

Interesting artwork on the wall, I assume depicting the first congregation of nuns


Fresco on monastery wall

Fresco on monastery wall

This sun dial was amazing .. looking somewhat nondescript, I almost missed seeing it!!

Amazing sun dial

Amazing sun dial


The sun dial of Mont Sainte-Odiel

The sun dial of Mont Sainte-Odiel

Built into the rocky walls below the monastery is a series of ceramic artworks, depicting the 'Way of the Cross' . They can be seen from the pathway around the monastery. Made from 1933 to 1935 by the ceramist Elchinger Leon (1871-1942). Beautiful. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see these.

The Way of the Cross

The Way of the Cross


The Way of the Cross

The Way of the Cross

Another draw to the monastery is the beautiful panoramic view across the plains below. One can even see the Rhine River in the distance.

Beautiful view of plains looking towards Rhine River

Beautiful view of plains looking towards Rhine River


Aaron and I

Aaron and I


Aaron and Olivia

Aaron and Olivia

Again, there was much we missed. Never enough time!! but a lovely visit nontheless.

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Posted by patsaunder 01:24

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