There are words, there are pictures, but nothing can truly capture the beauty of the Maulbronn Monastery. I’ve heard about it for years, always at Easter, there seems to be a fantastic display of hand-painted Easter eggs there then, but I’ve never been. Silly because it’s less than an hour from my house. I’m starting to think I live in the best location on Earth. I’m an hour, two, three, from so many breathtaking places.

I decided to take my parents last Saturday afternoon. It was a gorgeous day, barely a cloud in the sky, my mom had done all my laundry, my dad had fixed two computers. They were due a treat. I hustled them, and Dave, into the car and took the scenic route. All the little country roads through farmers fields, rather than the big autobahn. Neither of my parents is a fan of my driving on the autobahn.

Once we got into the town of Maulbronn, the monastery was easy to find. What wasn’t easy was where to park. The streets were lined with cars, and the only way in seemed to be a not-for-Toiny way in. Yet I saw no other signs, so I hesitantly turned the nose of my car down, angled it through the very narrow tower gate and drove into the kloster itself. I gave a quiet sigh of relief when I saw other cars parked inside. I slid my beat-up old car into a spot in between a Mercedes and BMW, as always. Germans drive very nice cars.

I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough. Despite it being a Saturday, on a holiday weekend (Whit Sunday or Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter), it was very uncrowded. I wanted to take advantage of the quiet beauty and take some pictures. I took over 200 pictures in the short time we were there, and minus two blurry shots of my feet, they all turned out fabulous! Sometimes that’s worse than trying to find 1 good photo in a batch of bad photo’s.

I had a very, very hard time narrowing down which photo’s to share here. Not a single one captures the beauty of the monastery. I think I need a drone, with a DSLR camera attached.

The drive-through tower gate. Thankfully I had the car & not my trusty old van!

I stepped out of the car, turned left & this was my view.

To my right was the heart of the kloster, the monastery church consecrated in the 12th century.

We stopped to have lunch here, the Klosterkatz (monastery cat, and there was a cat!)

This was set for a live piano concert later that night. We pretended to be Gregorian monks & even my tone-deaf chants sounded awesome in this space. Imagine a piano!

The choir, or quire, seating. The organ in the back ground always reminds me of my Opa.

The East cloister.

This part is not open to tourists, I can imagine monks sitting there in quiet contemplation.

My mom is only 5″1′. She’s standing a step below the teeny tiny door. I’m now imaging poor, stooped monks never standing up tall.

I want this to be my house. Rickety steps, roses & ivy. Please?

These steep, narrow, stairs led up & out of the monastery to a natural swimming hole. I forgot my swimsuit.

The view with the steep, narrow, stairs at my back.

Bonus picture: What are these ducks used for?