Monastery and Zoo
Riesa is a tip for all history lovers, who are always searching for the time-honored whiff of history. After all the today’s city of industry and sports emerged of a village with the in 1119 firstly mentioned monastery- the oldest one in the “Mark Meißen”. Who enters the imposing monastery courtyard behind the Town Hall, can imagine the monastery am very good. In the monastery-wing an interactive exhibition transmits information about the flora and fauna of the region. Here the guests find out hidden things of the monastery, the Benedictine Order and archaeological excavations of the monastery ground. In huge aquariums, which are filled with 200 liters of water, fish are romping; whose natural habitat is the river Elbe. This aquarium plant with three pools is the largest one of its type along the river. Under the roof of the monastery there is a gallery with always changing exhibitions. Connected with the monastery-wing is the zoo, in which native animals are living since 1965. About 30.000 animal friends, who visit the zoo every year, don’t only find minks, which live within the Germany breeding program in Riesa. On an area of one hectare there are living 160 animals in 55 species today, among them are mouflons, dears, tarpans, foxes, wildcats, eagle owls, storks, pheasants, swans, goats, coypus and mini-pigs, which are very clean animals. For many years there are exotic rhesus monkey living on this ground, which can be admired through an underground observation ward while eating and playing. Apart from that the surrounding is empathized of the natural habitat of the animals. In the monastery-herb garden there are cultivated more than 20 different medical- and seasoning herbs. The nearness of monuments, nature, people and animals bestow a special flair to the Riesa zoo. A highlight is the linking-bridge of the east- and north-wing to the renovated historical monastery-tower, which was used as water-art in the past. The self-called Europe’s last “Röhrenmeister”, the Friedebacher carpenter Hans-Jürgen Wenzel, installed an ancient water pipe in the 10 meters high tower along the inner-façade of the building in 2008. This was the ending of the 13 years enduring renovation of the monastery. Advice: Not all parts of the zoo are barrier-free accessible at the moment. We like to inform you about it.