If anyone out there says, “If you’ve seen one small Black Forest town, you’ve seen them all,” obviously has never been to Alpirsbach. And if anyone says, “if you’ve seen one medieval monastery, you’ve seen ‘em all,” ain’t ever been to Kloster Alpirsbach, or the Alpirsbach Abbey.
Both the town and the monastery that share the same name are intertwined, as they have been since the monastery was founded back in the Middle Ages; except the monastery isn’t made up of 77 shires, hamlets, and farms on the Kinzig River — like the town.
It’s hard to talk about one without the other, for over 900 years the Alpirsbach Abbey has dominated what’s gone on around these parts. The church is still having services after nine centuries; and what’s even more remarkable is that they hold both Catholic and Evangelical services.
FYI, it’s not the only one. Both the Ostweg and the Way Of St. James come through, too.
In the summer, Alpirsbach holds all kinds of concerts. The venue? The monastery, of course. See, they’re twinned in just about everything.
Leaving the monastery behind, Alpirsbach has its own Klosterbräu, a brewery that’s still making the good stuff (Pilsner, lager, Black beer) after almost two centuries.
Plus, if you like those half-timbered houses, Apirsbach delivers them in its historic Altstadt (Old Town). Sweet.
Walking around the Altstadt is a good plan, as is walking along the Skulpturenpfad (Sculpture Trail); created from the minds of 16 artists out of tree trunks. The Spa Gardens is where you’ll find this, as well as “band shell” for other musical events held in town.
And as this is the Black Forest, after all, who wouldn’t enjoy biking around the Kinzig Valley Cycle Route, or getting out on one the ski lifts for skiing fun during the winter?
I’ll take Alpirsbach any day of the week, any month of the year — but I’m not biking the 230km Black Forest Ultra Bike Marathon. Of course, if you’re willing to do it — I’ll be there to cheer you on. That is, if I can tear myself away from the Alpirsbach Abbey.
Do you really think someone could say, they’ve seen them all? OK, maybe once you’ve seen Alpirsbach, you won’t need to see anything else. ;-)