The cultural history of the island, famous for its Benedictine monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is explained in four important historic buildings.
The "Old Town Hall" is home to the main site, the Reichenau Museum. Built between the 12th and 15th centuries, this is one of the oldest half-timbered houses in Southern Germany, so is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the Middle Ages. A highlight is the display that focuses on the monastery s tradition of illuminating manuscripts. Exhibits also explain the importance of the monastery church of St. Mary and Mark, covering the work of monks, such as the poet, Walahfrid Strabo and the scientist, Hermann des Lahmen. Particularly fascinating is the St. Gall Plan. Drawn in the scriptorium back in the 9th century, it is a detailed design for a religious community, from the church and dormitories to the kitchens, brew house and gardens.
Nearby is St. Mary and Mark, one of three Romanesque churches, each with its own little museum. At the western end of the island is St. Peter and Paul; on the eastern side is St. George, whose rare murals, depicting the miracles of Christ, date from the 10th Century. Visit the museums; see the churches; you will get a real feel for the "spirit of the Reichenau" and its Benedictine monastery.