A historically significant abbey in scenic surroundings

Hirsau Monastery

Hunting lodge at Hirsau Monastery. Image: Calw Tourist Information
SINGING UNTIL MIDNIGHT

SCHOOL DAYS

The school day for monastery students was strictly structured. Their days revolved around prayers and lessons. Important visitors might provide a brief distraction, but also required additional effort on the part of the monastery students.

Württemberg church choral book from the Reformation. Image: Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg, credit unknown

Music was an important part of the curriculum.

MUSIC DURING MASS AND FOR ENTERTAINMENT

In addition to subjects relevant to later theological studies at the University of Tübingen, music was also a part of the students' daily lessons. They regularly sang psalms during mass and prayers. Surviving records often mention how important guests staying in Hirsau on their way to the spa towns Wildbad or Teinach were honored musically.

Portrait of Johannes Karg, second Protestant abbot of Hirsau Monastery. Image: Credit unknown

The abbot advocated for his students.

UNDER EXTREME STRESS

Sometimes, the students found their efforts to entertain prominent visitors extremely taxing. The second Protestant abbot to the monastery, Johannes Parsimonius, wrote an angry letter to the ducal chancellery in Stuttgart in September of 1570 addressing this issue. He reported that his students had been required to sing past midnight as entertainment for church council members Johannes Enzlin, Matthäus Heller and Ludwig Hipp, who where there for visitation, during their lavish supper.

A LACKLUSTER MORNING

As the students' lessons typically began at six the next morning, apparently, many were not very eager to learn that following morning.

Hunting lodge at Hirsau Monastery, backlit. Image: Calw Tourist Information

Not all students handled the early mornings well, especially when they had to sing for guests late into the night.

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