Alternate Names: Vallis S. Crucis (1237);
Marienburghausen (18th century); Mariaburghausen (today)
Region: Bavaria (Bayern)
Medieval Location: originally three hours
north of Haßfurt; later Mariaburghausen
Dedication: S. John the Baptist (currently)
Date Founded: 1236
Date Terminated: 1580-1582 (circa)
Foundation Information: Circa 1200 a female
convent was founded just three hours north of Haßfurt; in
1237 the community was transfered to Mariaburghausen. At this
time Mariaburghausen was in the possession of Giboto of Ezelnhausen,
who served as a patron of the community as he had for Maidbronn
. The convent lay within the parish of Westheim (Link, 607). The
convent was established in 1236/7 by Abbess Jutta as a daughterhouse
of Heiligenthal . Bishop Hermann of Würzburg confrimed the
foundation in January 1237 and recognized the nuns' right to freely
elect their abbess as well as their freedom from a provost, although
the bishop retained jurisdictional rights over the convent's goods
(Krausen, 72-3). At the time of its foundation, the bishop sold
the convent half of the village of Marburghausen, exempted the
convent from tolls and divided the convent from the mother-church
of Knetzgau. The abbot of Bildhausen was given the task of spiritual
supervision over the convent.
Privileges & Exemptions: In 1255 Pope
Alexancer IV confirmed the convent's privileges. In 1263 and 1303
Popes Clement IV and Benedict XI expanded the nuns' privileges,
granting the nuns' the same rights over their private possessions
as they would have held had they remained in the secular world
Other Ecclesiastical Relations: The abbot
of Bildhausen acted as the spiritual advisor of the convent.
Relative Wealth: The convent experienced
financial difficulties during the sixteenth century, particularly
due to the peasant's war.
Assets Property: The convent's possessions
consisted of 771 acres of fields, 567 acres of meadow, and 1051
acres of forest (Link, 607). The convent also held rich possessions
in the surrounding villages.
Architecture Archaeology: The convent church
was rebuilt in the fourteenth century and has the general characteristics
of female Cistercian conventual churches (Krausen, 73).
Relics: The convent contained considerable
relics which gained it a reputation as a pilgrimage destination.
Manuscript Sources: The archival materials
for the community are found in the Hauptstaatsarchiv in München
(Munich) and in the Staatarchiv in Würzburg as well as in
the German national-museum in Nürnberg.
Miscellaneous Information: The convent
was damaged by fire in 1287. In 1456 the convent community was accussed
of neglecting to observe strict claustration. In 1492 and 1498 the
episcopal bishop called for stricter observances in the convent.
On March 17, 1582 Abbess Ursula von Rüsenbach died; she was
the only inhabitant of the convent at this time. After her death
the convent was dissolved by Bishop Julius Echter with papal permission
and the income from the convent was transferred to his newly-founded
University (Krausen, 74).
Conversi/ae and servants: The convent had
conversi under the supervision of a provost, who belonged to the
community of Bildhausen.
Contributor: June Mecham