My North - the Convent of Wienhausen


It's a silent time in winter, because the Convent of Wienhausen can only be visited in a guided tour.
Guided tours take place starting 1st April until October. But you can enjoy the beautiful architecture in winter and the peaceful atmosphere of the lovely village Wienhausen.

The Convent of Wienhausen was the home of major cultural and historic advances related to early religion in German society. The world’s oldest eyeglasses are also located there. The convent was founded between 1221 and 1228 by Duchess Agnes of Landsburg (who died 1248), the widow of Henry (Heinrich), Count Palatine of the Rhine, and the elder son of Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony. Duchess Agnes had also founded the convent of Isenhagen. She probably founded the convent as a means of salvation for her sins and those of her husband. At that time the foundation of the convent received much support from Bishop Conrad 2nd of Hildesheim. According to the chronicle of the convent, it was first established in 1221 in Nienhagen, near Celle. About 1231 it was moved to Wienhausen due to mosquitoes, "poisonous worms," and bad air. Two years later it was officially confirmed by Bishop Konrad the Second. A document dated April 24, 1233 is still one of the most valuable pieces of the convent’s own archive. In 1244 Duke Otto requested the convent's incorporation into the Cistercian Order. Much debate revolves around whether Wienhausen was actually incorporated into the order. The request survives but not the answer. Most scholars agree that Wienhausen followed Cistercian customs but was likely not formally incorporated into the order. The convent was then rebuilt in the North German red brickwork style with its characteristic Gothic gables from about 1310 to 1330 by the generosity of the widow resident Princess Mechtild.

The Rule at that time was Benedictine. The convent developed strong ties with convents in both Derneburg and Medingen. The community was supported by the neighboring nobles and patrician families of Lueneberg and Braunschweig. Members of the Welf family were continual patrons of the community. The abbesses of the community stemmed predominantly from nobility so therefore, during the first 200 years of its existence, the convent reached the peak of its cultural and material wealth. The convent derived income from land holding, rents, tithes, patronage rights, and rights and possessions in the Lueneburg salt works. In total, Wienhausen had patronage rights in six churches. The nuns probably contributed to the convent’s income by producing and selling tapestries and embroidery work. There is an abundance of famous artwork in the nun’s choir which originally had 89 seats, though the population was probably lower throughout that time period. The number sank into the 20’s in the 17th century and remained that way into the 20th century. The nuns of Wienhausen did not approve of the Reformation and so had to be forced to accept it. In the process, many precious objects and buildings were taken away or destroyed. In 1587 the last catholic abbess died and finally the nunnery became a protestant convent. For years to come however the women would continue to hold secret Catholic services. Built originally c. 1330 the Nun’s choir has both wall and ceiling paintings which depict scenes from the Old and the New Testament. Also portrayed are scenes from the life and the Passion of the Christ. The images below of some of the ceiling paintings should be viewed slowly in order to fully appreciate the exquisite 14th century religious art.


It's Springing


"The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts 
well out of proportion to their size."

-  Gertrude S. Wister


When it's working


”When it is working, you completely go into another place, you’re tapping into things that are totally universal,
completely beyond your ego and your own self. That’s what it’s all about.” 

~ Keith Haring


My North - the turning


“There are some people who live in a dream world, 
and there are some who face reality; 
and then there are those who turn one into the other.”

– Douglas H. Everett

Last Sunday we'd a really dreamy afternoon walk at the Meißendorfer Lakes. This is a nature reserve and bird reserve of national importance on the edge of the Lüneburg Heath in the state of Lower Saxony in northern Germany. The special importance of this nature reserve is underlined by its recognition as a major federal nature reserve project. And as you see it was a very foggy afternoon with this special misty mood I like so much. Only the going light stopped me to take thousands of photos


Januar Gedanken - Die schönste Welt


Die schönste Welt

Von allen Welten, die kreisen im All,
Und entstehn und verwehn wie Funkenfall,
Ist jene die schönste, die unsichtbar,
Und doch so eigen, und brennend klar,
Zwischen zwei Menschen allein ersteht,
Zwischen zwei Menschen allein vergeht,
Von deren Inhalt, von deren Bahnen,
Alle anderen Welten nichts ahnen!

Emil Claar, 1842 - 1930


Study the Past 2017

- January 2017 

Time for a serene and peaceful winter walk along the bright river Elbe with its frosty edges and wide open sky about this beautiful scene.

Study the past, if you would divine the future.

- Confucius

- February 2017 

This is an indoor month with a lot of watercolor paintings and photographic experiments with light and flowers.

- March 2017 

I'm deeply infected with painting undersea animals in watercolor and so the decision was clear, we'll visit SEALIFE, Hannover. It was such a wonderful and touching experience and with a lot of lovely models to paint later at my studio. I took zillions of photos (not so easy with the less light inside) and had a fantastic Café moment for finishing this wonderful day.

- April 2017 

Nature and Garden awakes with fresh green, thousand tiny flowers and I enjoy spending first afternoons with gardening and nice walks and a dreamy weekend trip to the island SYLT.

- May 2017 

Finally we've visited after five years abstinence one of our all time love points FUERTEVENTURA - that's one of the canary islands next to north Africa. We've enjoyed very much being there again, our gorgeous rented house - with a nice swimming pool (OMG!!! - I love jumping direct from bed into the pool) and the relaxing and peaceful rhythms of this place. And we'd there a very special adventure with three cute kitten --> here you can read the whole story.

- June 2017
Best month to enjoy all this work done at our garden is June, all the roses (and there are a lot of roses at our garden) are in full bloom - every year again it's absolutely breathtaking and I feel so blessed for this chance in life to plan a garden by myself and to enjoy all its ups and downs. Our cottage garden is now 15 years old and looks exactly like in my dreams.

- July 2017 

Summer in Lower Saxony means living outdoor as much as we can. I love these long evenings when the sun won't leave us.

- August 2017 

2017 was the year of visiting really long not seen favorite holiday places. In August we've spend a wonderful week on the island Juist, North Sea - Germany.

- September 2017 

Next in this series was a visit at Freiburg, Breisgau - South Germany with a stopping by at Alsace, France. I'd lived there 30 years ago and it was deeply touching to revisit these lovely city and region. One of my gorgeous memories are the wonderful moments on the daily farmers market Munsterplatz, around the Cathedral of Freiburg.

- October 2017 

With great steps Autumn comes around the corner, so it's time for planning a new Fine-Art-Snail Calendar with my little friends.

- November 2017 

No grey, no tristesse for me - rather Spanish sun, the awesome city of Girona,  lovely trips to beautiful locations,  new friends, great and intensive workshop with Endre Penovác perfectly organized by Angela Barbi EPC-Art Courses - Catalunya my new love!!

- December 2017 

Yayoi Kusama's "Infinity Mirrors" room. This very outstanding experience is a part of the beautiful LOOP EXHIBITION at the Museum of Art in Wolfsburg.

I'm so grateful for this marvelous year full of unforgettable moments and I hope that you enjoy this review as much as I do. 

All my best wishes for 2018 dear friend. 

Hugs and Kisses

yours isabella 

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