The original plan was for us to have more free time in Miltenberg to shop & explore, but the forecast was for cold rain. The plans were changed to visit the abbey at Amorbach, which would be an indoor experience. I imagine the excursion staff was really scrambling to line up guides and schedules. Of course that ensured that the rain would stop before we reached Miltenberg, which it did. Never mind, Amorbach was quite interesting.
We reached Amorbach before our guides were ready to take us through the abbey so we whiled away some time in the Cafe Schlossmühle where we found the tables set with a yummy variety of cakes. When coffee, tea and hot chocolate were distributed, all the requirements were met for happy travelers.
After we couldn't eat another bite, Jim & I walked around the town a bit until we were scheduled to join our guides.
We were fascinated by this vending machine just around the corner from the cafe and adjacent to a butcher shop. In addition to drinks (milk, Coke, fruit juice) you could get many different types of sausage, ground beef, sauerkraut, cheese, eggs & chicken "steaks." No worries about running out of supper supplies after closing time!
The abbey was founded in the 8th century. The church was originally built in the 12th century, but in the 18th century was completely refurbished in the rococo style. The sandstone facade was grafted onto the original Romanesque towers at that time.
Like so many others, the abbey was secularized by Napoleon and given, along with all its lands, to the Princes of Leiningen in compensation for the loss of lands that eventually ended up in France.
The various buildings are now used for offices and as a conference center as well as the home of the Prince and his family. Check the link to see how you too could live here!
Courtyard side of the "residence." Cool espalier.
Rococo indeed! This is above the altar in the church.
The Princes of Leiningen are Protestant, so they gave the church to the Protestant parish and it remains Protestant today. The local Catholics had to build a new church nearby.
The organ was built in 1776-1782 by members of the Stumm family. This dynasty was active through seven generations from c. 1717 to 1906. Unfortunately the only detailed discussion of this family that I can find online is in German.
This is one of the largest remaining Baroque organs. Although additional ranks were added in the mid-19th century, the original workings remained unchanged into the 20th century. It was reconstructed in 1982.
The clock in the middle of the pipes is an unusual feature, to say the least.
Of course the most important part of an organ is its sound production, but the design and implementation of the "packaging" is also important. This one is over-the-top as befits the Rococo style.
One of the rooms included in the tour was the green hall. It was a nice room, but what really struck me was the stove used to heat it. Similar stoves were in most of the palaces that we visited, but this is the only picture I got. This one is somewhat unusual in that it is metal rather than ceramic. The fire is fed from outside the room to keep dirt and other detritus (and grubby servants) away from the living quarters.
This hall is currently used for concerts and receptions.
The library once held a renowned collection. It still has a lot of books, but the ones that I looked at were things like bound copies of English tabloid newspapers. We were told that the remaining original books have been taken elsewhere.
What interested me the most was the floor. Its visual effects could mess with your mind.
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