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Marienburg cloister

It is baffling: If you approach the mountain ridge coming from the Mosel valley via Zell (there is a path leading to the former Marienburg monastery here) you find that the other side of the mountain ridge falls down even more steeply to the Mosel valley, but the river flows in the opposite direction. The solution to this riddle is a narrow, 14km long Mosel loop. Actually, the mountain ridge with the Marienburg castle is located on a small peninsula (Zeller Hamm), that is so narrow that the two rivers flowing in opposite directions are only 300m apart as the crow flies In other words, we are at a spectacular place!

The earliest written mention of the Marienburg Monastery was in 1157. Thirty years before the Archbishop of Treves had built the monastery on the site of the earlier archbishop's castle "Castrum Mariae". By 1515 the monastery of the female Augustinians had been converted into a fortress. French troops destroyed this fortress in 1650, and around 1700 it was restored in the Baroque style. Later parts of the fortress were used by hermits as a hermitage. In 1794 the building was again requisitioned due to the prevailing secularisation and sold by auction. After this the building was left to decay. The chapel was repaired 80 years ago, with the church being rebuilt 30 years later.

The late Gothic chancel of the church from the second half of the 15th century has been preserved. The outer walls and gates of the monastery are still standing, as well as the Romanesque nave from the 12th century with later alterations. The variety of building styles from different periods at Marienburg Castle mean it is a first class art monument. Today there is a training centre and a tourist restaurant there.

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