Mariaburghausen - History




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Alternate Names: Vallis S. Crucis (1237); Marienburghausen (18th century); Mariaburghausen (today)

Town: Haßfurt

Diocese: Würzburg

Region: Bavaria (Bayern)

Country: Germany

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.

Order: Cistercian

Rule: Benedictine

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 (Krausen, 73).

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 for