The mighty large-leaved linden tree on the premises of the AWO Psychiatry Centre – in the courtyard of the former Benedictine monastery – is an important natural monument. It is esti-mated to be 900 years old. According to the legend, Kaiser (Emperor) Lothar III planted it at the laying of the church's foundation stone.

The Berggarten on the west side of the Kaiserdom (Imperial Cathedral) is an idyllic park with water courses, waterfalls and ponds.

If Trees Could Talk…



So, so far my branches reach out into the wind – and back in time. The great church, in which emperor Lothair rests, is truly age-old. And the same goes for me. People say, the emperor himself planted me here. Although I was a young sapling, I remember vividly how a man of stately appearance firmly held me in his hands with many people surrounding him, solemnly watching. Back in the day it was customary to plant a limetree when an important event came up. And what could be of greater importance than the construction of a church, whose towers bore witness to the greatness of the imperial dynasty. However, Lothair’s dream did not come true and the number of lordly tombs in his church is small as the family of “Staufen” became the imperial family, and not the “Welfen”.

In the course of all those centuries I saw many things: While the cathedral was under construction, a great monastery was built. The benedictine monks were supposed to take care of the imperial tombs. And this task was taken very seriously by them for a long time. Very close to the cathedral, there was the glorious cloistered courtyard with two additional chapels. The monks were always busy: for example in the nearby mill and the brewery. All of that was surrounded by a wall, which separated the monastery from the rest of the world. But the world changed and took back its rightful possession. The monks disappeared and parts of the monastery went to rack or were torn down.

I did not only see the noblemen, however. I also watched the common people and their daily work. Many a time, they would gather in my shade and discuss their problems. Also, the people sat in judgment on somebody here. My side closest to the abbot’s building wore jougs for a long time, keeping many villains and also some poor devils from running away.

After the monks were long gone, a cooling bath was built inside the monastery for the spa guests. And finally I got some company again. People built a gallery in my crown where musicians would entertain the guests in the evenings. Consequently, I became the center of a dancing group quite frequently. Those amusements were short-lived, however. Soon after, the monastery was built into a  hospital for people with an ill soul. I hope I had at least a small part in their recovery. What could be a better image of imperturbability than a tree like me?