Station: [9] Summer Refectory

M 1: It’s midday, and the canons sit silently at their meal. While they spoon the cabbage soup with fresh herbs from the monastery's kitchen herb garden, their gaze wanders around the room. Perhaps thinking about how attractive this summer refectory is, with its splendid capitals. And about the contemporary design of the vaulted ceiling, with brickwork vaulting supported by just three massive columns. And how agreeable it is here, in the heat of a summer’s day. During the time of the canons, this room was open to the cloister – so the air in here was always fresh and pleasant.

No expense or effort was spared in designing the room. The stone columns were even brought by barge from Magdeburg, because nobody locally was able to carve such fine capitals with acanthus leaves, vines and lilies. Serrated acanthus leaves have been popular as a decorative motif since antiquity. The canons were well-versed in the Bible, so the vine reminded them of Christ telling his disciples: "I am the vine, and you are the branches." And the lily, with its three petals, has long been the symbol of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. So the sculptor subtly incorporated Christian messages into the beautiful ornaments.

F 2: After Jerichow Monastery was dissolved in 1552, the following centuries saw this large space used for very different purposes. Most recently, before the rooms of the monastery were opened to visitors, it was used to store tyres. Today, the summer refectory once again appears in all its medieval beauty. (…) Incidentally, since the monastery is a branch of Jerichow’s registry office, this room, with its unique atmosphere, also serves as a wedding venue.

Foto: © Stiftung Kloster Jerichow