Fodor's Expert Review Münster of St. Maria and St. Markus
Begun in 816, the Münster of St. Maria and St. Markus, the monastery's church, is the largest and most important of Reichenau's Romanesque churches. Perhaps its most striking architectural feature is the roof, whose beams and ties are open for all to see. The monastery was founded in 725 by St. Pirmin and became one of the most important cultural centers of the Carolingian Empire. It reached its zenith around 1000, when 700 monks lived here. It was then probably the most important center of book illumination in Germany. The building is simple but by no means crude. Visit the Schatzkammer (Treasury) to see some of its more important holdings. They include a 5th-century ivory goblet with two carefully incised scenes of Christ's miracles, and some priceless stained glass that is almost 1,000 years old.