My personal highlight on the Eifel trip was the visit to Maria Laach, the impressive monastery on the magically beautiful Laacher See. Picturesque, almost legendary, it is embedded in the Eifel landscape. With around 3,3 km² and a water depth of around 50 meters, the volcanic lake is not only the largest lake in Rhineland-Palatinate, but also one of the most visited. The Laacher See slumbers peacefully in the center of the young volcanic region of the East Eifel. Both the lake and the surrounding lands are owned by the Maria Laach Abbey. The Maria Laach monastery on the Vulkansee is a place where I felt a lot of peace and quiet. Did you know that you can even go on vacation in the monastery here?

Laacher See – legendary volcanic lake

It is hard to imagine that one of the largest volcanic eruptions in Central Europe took place here more than 130.00 years ago. At that time, the eruptions unfolded explosions with the explosive force of 500 Hiroshima bombs! However, if you take a walk around the lake these days, you will be able to enjoy a completely idyllic landscape. The particularly fertile soil and the nature of the lake are only evidence of the former eruptions for trained eyes. In 1940, the Laacher See was declared a nature reserve and is now the largest nature reserve in Rhineland-Palatinate. There is a special stillness and tranquility in the Laacher Tal that is difficult to put into words. There are also some less frequented hiking trails in the area.

Holidays in the Maria Laach Abbey – The self-sufficient monastery with an active community of monks

Maria Laach Abbey is one of the few monasteries in Germany that still houses an active monastic community. The monastery businesses are located on the site next to the monastery, because the monastery earns its money with its own businesses. Even some of the energy is generated with our own combined heat and power plant. The water is also drawn from its own spring. The heart of the monastery complex is the impressive abbey church, which is considered to be one of the best-preserved and most beautiful buildings in Germany. I find it particularly exciting that there are also younger monks in the group of 27 monks, such as Brother Stephan Oppermann, who is particularly devoted to art.

The most beautiful library in Germany? Greetings from Harry Potter

A special surprise awaits me in the monastery in the form of one of the most beautiful libraries I have ever seen. Having already visited the stunning library hall in Wiblingen, I have become quite demanding before I call a library impressive and unique. But the library of Maria Laach Abbey is not only the jewel of the monastery next to the abbey church, it could also serve as a backdrop for the Harry Potter books.

With its magical spiral staircase, the medieval monastery library reminds me of the bookshop Livraria Lello in Porto, which JK Rowling is said to have inspired her famous series of novels. Whoever comes into this library hall suddenly becomes very still and lets the impressions sink in for the first time. At the moment there are around 60 books in this hall from a collection totaling 000 books from the fields of spiritual literature, natural sciences and philosophy. However, the majority of the collection is located in a new storeroom, which also includes the administration rooms and a new reading room.

Monastery Accommodation – Stay in a real monastery

Holiday in the monastery? That's fine! If you want to know what it feels like to live in a real monastery, you can in the Maria Laach monastery spend the night. The offer is mainly aimed at people who want to delve even deeper into their faith and get to know life in a real, modern monastery.

Hotel at the monastery – Seehotel Maria Laach

If you want to get to know the monastery and its beautiful surroundings a little more independently of religion and belief, you can also spend your holidays in the Seehotel Maria Laach. The 4-star house is located directly at the monastery with an unobstructed view of the Laacher See. The rooms have been recently renovated and designed in a modern style. The ambience is charming and cozy at the same time thanks to the unique location and the chic design.

Cuisine and restaurants in Maria Laach

The region around the volcanic lake also has a lot to offer in culinary terms. The associated restaurant is located directly in the Seehotel Maria Laach thousand93. The name is based on the year in which the Maria Laach Monastery was founded by Count Palatine Heinrich II. There are numerous regional delicacies on the menu. The fish comes directly from the Laacher See. Another restaurant, with a wonderful view of the monastery garden, is the Monastery restaurant Maria Laach. Good, home-style cooking and a varied menu make you look forward to a treat after a long hike around the lake. Here you eat authentically from the earthenware of the monastery.

Is it worth visiting the volcanic lake and the Maria Laach monastery?

From me there is a very clear yes! Although the weather was really bad during our visit, it didn't take away from the magic of the trip to Maria Laach Monastery. And if it's so nice when it rains, I can only imagine how wonderful it must be when the sun is shining. Even if you are not particularly interested in monasteries, the monastery library alone is an absolute highlight.