Unesco World Heritage Site

Maulbronn Monastery

Tiefer See (deep lake) near Maulbronn Monastery. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
KNOW-HOW

WATER MANAGEMENT

The Cistercians were famous for their masterful water management and water usage techniques. The medieval system of approximately twenty lakes and ponds connected by an extensive network of trenches and channels still characterize the Maulbronn Monastery landscape to this day.

Point of entry: Salzach river meets Maulbronn Monastery. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Carla Müller

Salzach river near the monastery.

A SYSTEM WITH MANY FUNCTIONS

A wide-branching system of trenches drained the surrounding wetlands into the Salzach river. Reservoirs served as artificial lakes and fish ponds, thus creating a basis for nourishment. Large sections of the system can still be identified and those that have been preserved still perform this function.

WATER IN THE MONASTERY COMPLEX

The Cistercians channeled the flow from the Salzach river and Blaubach creek through the monastery wall, where waste water and garbage from latrines, kitchens and outbuildings would flow into it. It still flows through the monastery today. They also used this channel to supply the water necessary for operating their mill, located within the monastery.

TIPP

The Tiefer See (deep lake), which was formerly a water reservoir and fish pond, has been a public swimming lake since 1898. It offers swimming in a natural setting, combined with the convenience of an outdoor swimming pool. Paddle boats and rowboats are also available for use on the lake