Agnes III from Anhalt

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Agnes von Anhalt-Zerbst (* 1445 ; † August 15, 1504 in Kaufungen ) came from the house of the Ascanians and was called Agnes III. from 1485 to 1504 abbess of the imperial free secular imperial monastery of Gandersheim .


Agnes was a daughter of Prince Georg I von Anhalt-Zerbst (1390-1474) from his third marriage to Sophie († 1451), daughter of Count Sigismund von Hohnstein . Agnes' sister Scholastika had been abbess of the Gernrode and Frose monastery since 1469. Agnes was educated in the Quedlinburg Abbey.

In 1485 Agnes was elected 33rd abbess of Gandersheim. In her confirmation, Pope Innocent VIII emphasized the princely dignity of the office and the person of the abbess.

From 1485 and 1496, respectively, Agnes was head of the Herse and Kaufungen monasteries and administrator . Agnes had accepted the office because the financial means of the once wealthy Gandersheim Abbey were nowhere near enough and she had to ask her brothers for food. During Agnes 'tenure, the monastery' s financial position recovered considerably. Agnes built new buildings in the abbey and improved the existing ones. In 1488 Agnes approved the establishment of a commission and a new altar at the church in Gandersheim.

The monastery suffered from the military attacks by Duke Heinrich von Braunschweig's mercenaries , which went so far that they were said to have ripped off the abbess's headgear. These activities had to be ended by the intervention of Agnes' brothers. However, they could not prevent the loss of the parish of St. Stephanie to the Braunschweiger, although Agnes was compensated by the Duke of Braunschweig rather symbolically with 2 guilders a year from the income of the village of Sebexen .

Because of her energy and activity, the abbess was unpopular with her clergy. In 1504 she finally retired to the Kaufungen monastery, where she died. She left the majority of her fortune to the monastery, which increasingly fell into disrepair among her successors.


  • Hermann Adolf Lüntzel : History of the diocese and city of Hildesheim. Volume 2. Gerstenberg, Hildesheim 1858, p. 537 ff.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Philipp Ernst Bertram , Johann Christoph Krause : History of the House and Principality of Anhalt. Volume 2. Curt, Halle 1782, p. 45.
  2. Hans Goetting : The Diocese of Hildesheim. Volume 1: The imperial canonical monastery Gandersheim (= Germania sacra. The dioceses of the ecclesiastical province of Mainz. NF 7). de Gruyter, Berlin et al. 1973, ISBN 3-11-004219-3 , p. 312.