They dedicate their lives to their religion and follow the Rule of Saint Benedict, which focuses on "opus dei", or "the work of God". Nevertheless, the Benedictine nuns move with the times; they are open-minded and receptive towards all who ask about the meaning of life. At Eibingen Abbey near Rüdesheim, you can take all the time in the world in your quest for the answer to this question.
Their ten commandments from the Decalogue for Daily Living are a revelation in a time of such great uncertainty. Those wishing to explore this aspect at Eibingen Abbey are welcome to do so in the convent, which also has a guest house. As a matter of fact, slowing down is the order of the day here. As soon as visitors step foot in the Abbey Church of St. Hildegard, the soft colours of the murals – typical of the Beuron Art School – instil a sense of peace. The five panels telling the story of the life of Hildegard of Bingen, patron saint of the abbey, are striking. The depiction of Christ in the apse above the altar, the gem-encrusted crucifix in the centre behind the altar and the precious lamp symbolising eternal light impress visitors with their elegant beauty. The abbey library, which holds more than 50,000 books, also features works from the Beuron Art School.
The first Benedictine nuns moved into the abbey in 1904. They have lived through turbulent times as a result of the two World Wars, and are now actively getting involved in the abbey, be it in the restoration and ceramics workshop or in the goldsmiths. They also work in the abbey garden, vineyard, shop and café, always abiding by the words of Pope John XXIII's Decalogue for Daily Living: "Don't take on too much. A peaceful, calm search for good is all you need: every day, every hour, without going to extremes, with patience."
Accommodation: full-board guest house
Nearest train station: Mainz
The abbey organises seminars, exhibitions, pilgrimage packages and private retreats
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