The Church St. Maria and Markus on the Island Reichenau, Lake Constance

´45/´30, SWR, 2019

The for­mer monas­te­ry church of St. Maria and Mar­kus on the island of Rei­chen­au in Lake Con­stance is more than 1,000 years old. The Roma­nes­que-Gothic church is the cen­ter of the monas­te­ry island of Rei­chen­au, who­se histo­ry is so important that it is now a UNESCO World Heri­ta­ge Site. The tra­di­ti­on and heri­ta­ge of the Bene­dic­ti­ne mon­ks shape the island and its inha­bi­tants to this day.
The monas­te­ry island of Rei­chen­au on Lake Con­stance is one of the most fer­ti­le spots in Ger­ma­ny. Today it is main­ly known as vege­ta­ble island. The ori­gin of agri­cul­tu­re goes back to Bene­dic­ti­ne mon­ks, who made the island ara­ble in the ear­ly Midd­le Ages. They foun­ded an important monas­te­ry on the island, which was an important cen­ter of occi­den­tal cul­tu­re around 1000 AD. Today, the­re are three church­es on the Rei­chen­au, remi­nis­cent of the old monastic tra­di­ti­on — St. Geor­ge, St. Peter and Paul and the gre­at for­mer monas­te­ry church of St. Maria and Markus.
The film accom­pa­nies Man­fred Mül­ler, the sext­on of St. Maria and Mark, who wat­ches over the art tre­a­su­res of the church. The fisher­man and wine­ma­ker Ste­fan Rie­bel and the far­mer Ste­fa­nie Wehr­le con­ti­nue their fami­ly tra­di­ti­on, which has been cul­ti­va­ted on the island for many cen­tu­ries. Pre­vious­ly, the mon­ks were the lords of the island and employ­ed the peas­ants in agri­cul­tu­re. Sin­ce the power­ful kos­ter was aban­do­ned in 1803 by the last mon­ks, took over in 1830, the for­mer feu­dal resi­dents, the land, lay­ing the foun­da­ti­on for today’s vege­ta­ble island.
Sin­ce 2001, some Bene­dic­ti­ne mon­ks and nuns have found a new home on the Rei­chen­au — in St. Peter and Paul, the neigh­bo­ring church of the for­mer monas­te­ry church. The­re, Father Ste­phan Vor­werk has ser­ved as parish pas­tor and pas­tor for several years. This is unusu­al for a Bene­dic­ti­ne monk, but that clo­ses the cir­cle of a thousand-year-old tradition.


Direc­tor: Kat­ja Duregger
Came­ra: Jeff Zim­mer­mann
Sound: Peter Toth
Film Edi­t­ing: Nina Stai­ber
Mix: Vanes­sa Wollenschläger
Head of production: Ste­fa­nie Gütle
Com­mis­sio­ning Editors: Eli­sa­beth Milin, Julia Melan
Pro­du­cer: Bern­hard Stegmann
Pro­duc­tion: AV Medi­en Film und Fern­se­hen GmbH