The island is divided into three separate villages (Oberzell, Mittelzell, and Niederzell), each of which is centered on the remains of a medieval monastery. The most impressive of these is the Münster St. Maria und Markus, Burgstrasse (tel. 07534/249), in Mittelzell. Originally founded in 725, it became one of the most important centers of learning in the Carolingian era. It reached its peak around 1000, when it was the home of about 700 monks. The structure is beautiful in its simplicity. Its treasury displays several reliquaries, including the original St. Mark reliquary, as well as a rare 9th-centruy Evangeliary containing the four gospels. Entrance is free, but a visit to the treasury costs 2€ for adults, 1€ for students, and free for children 14 and under. The church is open daily year-round 9am to 6pm; its treasury is open only May to October Monday to Saturday 11am to noon and 3 to 4pm. While you're in the vicinity, notice the Kräutergarten (Herb Garden), in the shadow of the cathedral on the Hermann Contractus Strasse. It emulates the herb and vegetable gardens maintained by monks in the Middle Ages.
The hamlet of Niederzell is home to Stiftskirche St. Peter and St. Paul, Egino-Strasse (no phone). If it's not open when you arrive, the tourist office will call someone to unlock the gates for you. In 1990, during restorations of the church's apse, a series of Romanesque frescoes were uncovered and are now on view.
The nearby hamlet of Oberzell houses Stiftskirche St. George, Seestrasse (no phone). Rising abruptly from a cabbage field, it has a severely dignified, very simple facade and a series of charmingly naive medieval frescoes inside. It's open daily 9am to 6pm. Admission is free.
A final site in Mittelzell worth a stop is the Heimatmuseum, Ergat 1 (tel. 07534/999321; www.museumreichenau.de). This is a showcase for the handicrafts and folklore that developed on Reichenau and the surrounding region. It's open April to October Tuesday to Sunday 10:30am to 4:30pm, plus November to March only Saturday and Sunday 2 to 5pm. Entrance costs 3€ adults, 1.50€ children. For further information, contact the local tourist office.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.