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An extraordinary ensemble in an idyllic setting

Bebenhausen Monastery and Palace

View of the town of Bebenhausen with monastery and palace. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Christoph Hermann
From herb garden to game preserve

The gardens

The medieval monastery garden was a place of peace and prayer. Inside the protective monastery walls, the monks grew herbs and medicinal plants. Outside of the walls lay the monastery's land, used for farming. In the surrounding forest, large hunts took place in the period after the monastery.

Cloister garden at Bebenhausen Monastery. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Rose Hajdu

The center of the conclave: the cloister garden.

The green lungs of the monastery

In the center of the conclave lies the cloister garden. The Cistercians prayed and meditated here. Low hedges and white gravel paths, arranged in the shape of a cross, divide the areas of grass into equal and eternally green rectangles: a symmetrical image with a calming effect. In the center stands a stone fountain from the 19th century. The pinnacle is a Gothic transitional style and the two fountains exist as part of the fountain chapel. There was already a well here in the time of the monks.

Herb garden of Bebenhausen Monastery. Image: Wikimedia, in the public domain

Irrigation ditches in the monastery garden.

Healing power from the herb garden

The herb garden in Bebenhausen is linked to the long tradition of monastic gardens: Culinary herbs and medicinal plants grow here. Their effects were already known in the Middle Ages and were passed down by the monks. In addition to well-known plants, such as mint and lovage, unusual herbs can also be discovered here. Angelica, which owes its name to his powerful healing effect, is used for stomach complaints.

Large hunts in Schönbuch

Since the beginning of the 19th century, Schönbuch was the favorite hunting grounds of the kings of Württemberg. Here, hunts were conducted for game, such as wild boar, roe deer, and particularly for stag, the heraldic animal of Württemberg. At lavish hunts, the nobility bagged massive amounts of game. The Festival of Diana that Friedrich I hosted in celebration of his birthday was a major societal event: For the hunting pleasure of the guests, animals were herded together from throughout Schönbuch.

Ceremonial hunt, painting by Johann Baptist Seele, 1812; currently in Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. Image: Württembergische Landesbibliothek

"The great festive hunt at Bebenhausen, his Majesty King Friedrich of Württemberg."