Königswinter - Heisterbach Monastery Landscape
At a glance
At the request of the Archbishop of Cologne, Philipp von Heinsberg, twelve monks from the Eifel Cistercian monastery of Himmerod founded a monastery on the Petersberg in March 1189. The archbishop endowed the founding convent with the buildings and goods of a previously abandoned Augustinian canon's monastery on the Petersberg as well as further possessions in Meckenheim, on the Stenzelberg and in the nearby Heisterbach valley. Foundations of a church building can still be seen on Petersberg today. After three years on the Petersberg, the Cistercian monks moved to the valley below and founded the Heisterbach monastery there. Until the 19th century, the extensive monastery landscape of Heisterbach was created around the monastery, which we want to discover on this hiking trail.
The Heisterbach valley (Heister = beech) is also called Peterstal at that time. The relocation had practical reasons, as there was water, fertile soil and connections to the transport routes in the valley. At first, makeshift buildings were erected until the monks began to build the monastery church and the enclosure buildings in 1202. The stones were quarried in the nearby quarries. They also built underground water pipes and created ponds for fish farming. Source and info: www.abtei-heisterbach.de. Furthermore, the monks significantly influenced the viticulture in the valley. We want to visit all stations of this monastery landscape, which has experienced many new impulses and a return to the Cistercians during the Regionale 2010, and combine it with a hike. For this purpose, we will also use the former petition path from Oberdollendorf up to Petersberg, which can still be experienced in part with the remaining wayside crosses.