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Cistercian landscapes in Central Europe

Europe: Exchange and Movement Landkreis Bamberg

The project aims to focus on the special character of the cultural landscapes, which have been shaped by Cistercians since the middle ages: monastic buildings, road network and land use forms.
The main idea of the project is the valorization of the Cistercian landscapes in central Europe: An exhibition and a guiding program will show what the surroundings of six Cistercian abbeys in four European countries - -Morimond, Ebrach, Waldsassen, Plasy, Rein and Zwettl - have in common and how they developed local diversities. People should become able to "read" those cultural landscapes, to recognize the traces of the past in their nowadays environment. The landscape design of these abbeys is the result of the remarkable network and the extraordinary influence of the Cistercians in medieval Europe. Today’s inhabitants and visitors of these landscapes can realize and recognize, despite of different languages and regional cultures, their common European cultural heritage.
Special trails and guided walks are developed to make people see and feel the historic roots of their environment.

The methodological framework is based on the cultural-historical approach of landscape observation. The characteristic landscape elements and structures of former and existing Cistercian abbeys are identified according to a consistent scheme, documented and communicated using modern media. Cistercian abbeys had to be founded in marshland and wilderness. The monks and the lays had to develop hydraulic systems, methods of canalization and irrigation, they had to build up the supply with water, cereals, fruits, wine, wool, salt, iron, wood etc.
Therefore those elements are:
- the granges (big farm unities)
- the ponds and traces of fish farming
- the structure of fields, terraces and pastureland
- the wine yards and fruit farming
- the woods
- mills, quarries and mines
- places of worship, chapels and pilgrimage routes
- historic trade routes

The project "Cistercian landscapes in Central Europe" is sponsored by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media / German National Committee for Monument Protection (European Year of Cultural Heritage)/ LEADER and Local Action Groups (LAGs Bamberg, Haßberge, Kitzingen, Schweinfurt, Tirschenreuth, Neustadt-Aisch)
Project holder ist the Landkreis Bamberg / County of Bamberg/Bavaria. Cooperation partner is the Bavarian State Office for Heritage and Monument Protection.
The project network consists in the Cistercian abbeys and landscapes, the involved municipalities and stakeholders of Morimond (F), Ebrach and Waldsassen (GER), Plasy (CZ), Rein and Zwettl (A)