Close to the Baltic Sea, right between the Hamburg metropolitan region and Lübeck is Reinfeld (Holstein), a town started by a dozen monks back in the late 12th century. Life was quiet in this Schleswig-Holstein monastery back in the days; and it quickly thrived thanks to fish.
Fish? I guess that’s why Reinfeld is considered a Karpfenstadt or “Carp City” to this very day.
Back to the monastery, if you please. Visitors will love the Baroque Matthias-Claudius Church, built 1636. Yes, I know I said the monastery was much older, but the original church was destroyed in 1635 (those monks worked fast, didn’t they?).
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Found within the Kloster complex are the graves of former abbots; and there’s a granite memorial on the bank of the monastery’s pond that was added in 1989.
Also within town is Reinfeld’s Local History Museum, called a Heimatmuseum. Great — even if you don’t speak German you’ll know that when you see one of these — you’re usually in for a true educational (I mean informative) time. Hey, who doesn’t like learning something new?
One thing though, you don’t have to be inside to learn something or see something historic. Reinfeld’s the site of a prehistoric grave in the neighboring forest.
And you don’t need something historic to enjoy the forest. Germany’s great for hiking, bicycling, and plain old walking trails; so just find one with the love of your life or just a good friend.
The only thing missing from Reinfeld is a castle (but, I’m not taking anything away from the place). There used to be one here back when the area was once part of Denmark. Too bad we weren’t here back in 1775 before Reinfelder Schloss was torn down. Its stones still live on, except this time as an administration building.
I’d go out on a limb and say those dozen enterprising monks sure would be proud of how their small monastery town turned out. Wouldn’t you agree?