Einsiedeln : practicalities
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Trains run every hour from Luzern to Biberbrugg, where you have to change for the climb to Einsiedeln; hourly trains from Brunnen require an extra change at Arth-Goldau. Einseideln’s train station is a ten-minute walk from the church: from Dorfplatz out front, head east along Hauptstrasse. The tourist office is just off Klosterplatz at Hauptstrasse 85 (Tues–Fri 10am–noon & 1.30–5pm, Sat & Sun 10am–4pm; 055/418 44 88). Almost every building in sight of the church is a hotel: Sonne, Hauptstrasse 82 (055/412 28 21, fax 412 41 45), has basic, spartan rooms; Storchen, Hauptstrasse 79 (055/412 37 60, fax 412 61 04), is a comfortable place with a good restaurant, while Rot-Hut, Hauptstrasse 80 (055/412 22 41, fax 412 71 37), is smaller and not so characterful. There are plenty of places to eat – ranging from the simple Pizzeria Zia Teresa, Hauptstrasse 21 (closed Mon & Tues), up to the quality restaurants with their Fr.20-ish menus on and near Klosterplatz, including the Katharinahof, Bären and St Georg.

Every three years or so, the monastery stages a massed open-air production of the Great World Theatre – a religious drama by Pedro Calderón de la Barca premièred at the Spanish court in 1685. Some 600 villagers take part, coached by the monks themselves. The next production will take place from June 23 to September 9, 2000; for information and tickets (Fr.33–92), contact Welttheater Gesellschaft, Postfach 523, CH-8840 Einsiedeln (055/422 16 92). Einsiedeln is a fully functioning monastic community, with around a hundred priests and brothers. Mass is celebrated several times a day, most notably with Gregorian chanting at 7.30am and choral accompaniment for Vespers at 4pm. Of the many annual pilgrimagefestivals, the most colourful is the Feast of the Miraculous Dedication on September 14, which culminates in a candlelit procession around the square.

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