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Student Writing

For student writing for the course


Welcome to Constance! Sitting on the picturesque Lake Constance that borders Germany, Switzerland and Austria, Constance was an important religious center and the site of the only bridge crossing the Rhine River during the Middle Ages. Our trip to Constance was a very fun experience, including a refreshing dip in the clear, cold water of the Rhine.


The Monastic Island of Reichenau

The Monstic Island of Reichenau

Contributor: Josh Petersen

Before visiting the Upper Rhein, I thought of monks in a two-dimensional and static way. The “Medieval Monk” conjures up in my mind the image of a man, face obscured by a light brown hood, lighting candles in a dark stone hall while he sings Gregorian chant. I am sure I am not the only one who has these pre-conceptions about monks in this time period, either. (Perhaps we all have Monty Python to thank for this.)


Beguines and Adelhausen

The convent of Adelhausen in Freiburg is a Medieval convent that still has importance today, although it is no longer functioning. During the middle Ages, religious fervor was strong and wars were frequent, so the number of men able to marry was scarce. Women then began to see the monastic life as a viable alternative to marriage. However, as convents became overpopulated, many women began to form informal religious communities of like-minded spiritual companions, known as beguines.


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