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Unesco World Heritage Site

Maulbronn Monastery

Choir stalls in the church at Maulbronn Monastery. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Günther Bayerl
WOOD CARVINGS WITH STORIES TO TELL

THE CHOIR STALLS

The Gothic choir stalls are directly behind the east choir screen, offering space for 92 monks. Elaborate carvings adorn the stalls, which originated in the mid-15th century. The choir stalls were disassembled and reassembled during restorations in the 19th century.

Carved elements on the choir stalls in the church at Maulbronn Monastery. Image: Staatsanzeiger für Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff

Carved ornamentation adorns the choir stalls.

MASTER WOOD CARVER

The reliefs along the sides of the choir stalls warrant a closer look. Biblical scenes include, for example, Moses and the Burning Bush, Cain and Abel or Samson and the Lion. The master carver responsible for this work is unknown. Perhaps he was one of the carvers associated with famous Ulm sculptor Hans Multscher. There is other carved artwork to be discovered on the stalls: several students from the evangelical monastic school have carved their names here.

Sedilia in the church's monks choir at Maulbronn Monastery. Image: Staatsanzeiger für Baden-Württemberg, Julia Haseloff

Lavishly designed seating for the abbot.

A SPECIAL SEAT FOR THE ABBOT

The abbot was seated on the sedilia in the choir, flanked to the right and left by deacons. This prominent seat was considered part of the choir stalls and was reserved for the most important members of the monastery. The late Gothic seat is decorated with bands depicting numerous animals and mythical creatures. To either side are coats of arms belonging to the monastery founders and the monastery itself. The tall side panels are adorned with fruit-bearing grapevines.