Monastic Island of Reichenau (2000)
Germany

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Postcard showing the interior from a church at the Island of Reichenau.

The island of Reichenau on Lake Constance preserves the traces of the Benedictine monastery, founded in 724, which exercised remarkable spiritual, intellectual and artistic influence. 

The churches of St Mary and Marcus, St Peter and St Paul, and St George, mainly built between the 9th and 11th centuries, provide a panorama of early medieval monastic architecture in central Europe. Their wall paintings bear witness to impressive artistic activity.

  • Blank postcard showing the interior from a church at the Island of Reichenau. There is no specification of the church on the reverse side of the card. 

The Alemannic name of the island was Sindleozesauua, but it was also simply known as Ow, Auua, 'island' (Latinized as Augia, later also Augia felix or Augia dives, hence Richenow, Reichenau).

The Benedictine Abbey of Reichenau was founded in 724 by the itinerant Saint Pirmin, who is said to have fled Spain ahead of the Moorish invaders, with patronage that included Charles Martel and more locally Count Berthold and the Alemannian Duke Santfrid I (Nebi). Pirmin's conflict with his local patron resulted in his leaving Reichenau in 727, but under his successor Hatto, a kinsman of the Count of Hohenzollern, the monastery began to flourish and to gain influence in the Carolingian empire by educating the who staffed Imperial and ducal chanceries. 

In recent history the Reichenau Island has become famous for its vegetable fields, which is illustrated on this encased German stamp, bearing an ad on the reverse side for Reichenau. The stamp used for the encasement was issued 1922. 

Germany. Encased stamp with ad from Vegetable Fields and Wine Distillery in Reichenau. Germany 1922. Reichenau Encased Stamp.

The Wollmatinger Ried next to the island is a big nature preserve, a wetland area of reeds which is used by many birds for the stop-over during their annual migration. To the best of my knowledge there are no German stamps dedicated to Reichenau Island and/or environments. 

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Germany (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Germany for further information about such sites. 

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Revised 03 aug 2006  
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