An old monastery surrounded by half-timbered houses, a quiet lake and sparse deciduous forests on the hills - who comes to Beyenburg in the east Wuppertal, the city is suddenly quite far away.
The small town with its winding roads lies between forests and fields in a loop of the Wupper. Its romantic silhouette with the monastery church is reflected in the calm waters of the reservoir. The imposing yet graceful Church of St. Mary Magdalene, the "Beyenburg Cathedral", is one of the finest examples of Late Gothic architecture in the region. It was built in the 14th century together with the monastery stone house on the Beyenberg. The atmospheric Klosterhof leaves hardly any idea how changeable the history was - with devastating fires, but also times when monastic life flourished. The lush baroque high altar and the organ (1693) still bear witness to its heyday.
Since the Middle Ages Beyenburg was an important roadside station: The place was right in the middle between Cologne and Dortmund, one day's journey away from both cities, right on an old military route and a trade route, which continued to Magdeburg and into the Baltic Sea area. The hospitality industry flourished. Pilgrims on the Way of St. James found safe accommodation in the Steinhaus monastery.
At the end of the 18th century, Beyenburg lost its importance: the path was neglected and bumpy, travelers now preferred to use more comfortable alternative routes, which had arisen on the Rhine and Ruhr.
Whoever crosses the Wupper via the small bridge on the Beyenburg ford and walks along the Beyenburg reservoir will be rewarded with a wonderful view of the village, monastery and church on the Beyenberg.
April 1, 2019
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