|2000||Inscribed||Reasons for inscription|john booth (New Zealand):
I reached Reichenau Island by bus from Reichenau station on the mainland. After crossing the causeway the bus took me to Mittelzell, close to the museum and the church of SS Mary & Mark.
From there I took the island bus to Neiderzell where I visited the church of SS Peter & Paul. Next stop was the ferry dock where I visited the nearby mansion of Konigsegg, before going on to Oberzell and the church of St George.
From Oberzell I returned on foot across the causeway, stopping to see Schopflen, a ruined mansion, and the Kinderbild chapel, with its simplistic artworks on the way.
Date posted: September 2011 Klaus Freisinger (Austria):
Reichenau is a small island in Lake Constance. It can be reached in a short bus ride from Konstanz. On a sunny day, it is very pleasant to explore the island, which is about 5 by 2 km in size, by bicycle or on foot - as I did. You walk through fields and small villages, and along the scenic lakeshore. The 3 WHS-inscribed churches are located in the northern, central and southern parts of the island. All 3 were inscribed because of their medieval murals and the role the island played in the spread of Christianity in the Middle Ages. The Benedictine convent of Reichenau was closely connected to the one in St. Gall, which is only a short train ride away. The best murals can be seen in St. George, while the other 2 are less impressive. The biggest church is in the centre and has a nice treasury. The inscription on the WH list seems to be justified because of the historic importance of the island, but today there is not that much to see anymore. There is a small and very interesting museum in the main village, but today most people come for hiking and cycling.
Date posted: May 2010 Paul Tanner (UK):
On one of our long drives across Europe to get back to the UK at the end of a holiday we had slept in our car at a Rastplatz near Konstanz and noted the presence nearby of the WHS of Reichenau Island. Thus it was that we briefly visited this Bodensee island at 7am one misty morning. In fact you hardly notice that you have left the “mainland” as you cross a small channel. The island is rolling/low lying and largely consists of fields of market garden produce. It contains several medieval churches. Luckily at that time of the morning we found one of the churches open as a lady cleaned it and replaced the flowers. The murals dating from the 10th century were certainly very fine.
But should it really be a “World Heritage Site”??
The reason for the island’s inscription is that the first German Benedictine monastery was founded there in 724. The whole island was run as a “monastery” and still has 3 churches dating from 8th to 13th century. So it meets a number of criteria concerned with cultural tradition, buildings, land use and artistic work.
No doubt some will say that one cannot rate such a place on the basis of a rushed morning visit and entering a single church. Michelin gives it a single “*” (“Worth a visit”) – and that is about what I would give it. If you are in the area by all means take it in - but if this deserves WHS status then the world total number should run into thousands!
Date posted: June 2005
Have you been to Monastic Island of Reichenau? Share your experiences!