Augustinian convent Fritzlar

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Local prospectus of Fritzlar - From the Topographia Hassiae by Matthäus Merian the Younger 1655. On the left below the cathedral in the walled Neustadt the former Augustinian convent with the Katharinenkirche. At the very left edge of the picture the chapel of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit

The Augustinian convent Fritzlar in the north Hessian town of Fritzlar emerged from a hospital founded in 1145 and existed until 1538.

Established as a hospital

In 1145, Provost Bruno donated the Augustinian Canons of Weissenstein for the purpose of setting up a hospital for the poor in his native Fritzlar Land on the southern slope below the cathedral . However , the land donated by Provost Bruno with the consent of Archbishop Heinrich of Mainz was not enough to build all the necessary outbuildings for the hospital, and he therefore asked Archbishop Heinrich, Lord of the City of Fritzlar, for more land. Archbishop Heinrich bought the required land and on March 9, 1147, during a stay in Fritzlar, sealed the donation of these four acres to the new Marienhospital for material security and expansion. The hospital was located outside the city ​​walls at that time , on the site of the later Ursuline monastery and today's Ursuline school . There were several springs there, including the one that still runs through the school grounds and was called Bonifatiusquelle in the Middle Ages, which ensured the hospital's fresh water supply. There was probably already a small chapel dedicated to St. Boniface , which was to serve as a place of worship for the new hospital. The site was also on one of the most important roads leading into the city, which was the largest and most important in Niederhessen at the time, which enabled pilgrims and journeymen to find shelter there without entering the city. At the same time, this location outside the walls made it possible to keep the urban population separated from the sick in the hospital if there was a risk of epidemics . Sick care was initially probably provided by a hospital brotherhood that lived according to the rules of Augustine of Hippo .


In 1254 at the latest, this foundation had become an Augustinian convent : in that year Archbishop Siegfried III granted . from Mainz a 40-day indulgence for everyone who supported the new Augustinian monastery and the hospital attached to it. Nothing is known about the course and details of this 100-year development, but the monastery evidently enjoyed a positive development and acquired all sorts of properties in the area through donations. These included B. the village of Berningshausen (today desert), the chapel in Werkel with all its income, as well as a mill in Werkel.

The Katharinenkirche (center); on the right the Ursuline monastery built at the beginning of the 18th century, on the left the first Ursuline monastery school from the same era

The Fritzlarer Neustadt arose around the monastery and the Marienhospital attached to it from 1240, a legally independent town until 1464. Archbishop Siegfried confirmed as early as 1239 that the Bonifatius Chapel and its property had been transferred to the hospital by the Fritzlar Collegiate Chapter, and in 1247 the chapel received parish rights as “parochia s. Bonifacii ". Towards the end of the 13th century, it became possible that preserved to this day, the Hl. Catherine monastery church, dedicated to St. Catherine's Church to build a simple Gothic and only one nave vanished existing construction, after its completion, the old Bonfiatius Chapel. (The current roof rider dates from 1717.) In 1297, probably the year it was consecrated, the parish boundaries of the “Neustädter Spitalparrei” were redefined; they now encompassed Fritzlar Neustadt and the village of Holzheim in the Ederau and reached as far as the Büraberg .

At the turn of the 14th century, the Marienhospital seems to have been qualitatively superior to the municipal St. Georgs Hospital, as the transfer of some beneficiaries from the municipal to the Marienhospital suggests. In fact, the city of Fritzlar founded a new hospital as early as 1308 on the other side of the mill ditch and directly on the stone bridge there, the “Hospital of the Holy Spirit”. After initial resistance (the new hospital was in the territory of their Neustadt parish), provost, prioress and convent of the Augustinian convent gave their consent in 1308 to the construction of the new hospital and to the legal autonomy of the hospital chapel from the church and convent of the new town. In return, the City Council gave them exemption from all taxes and duties for their house in Spitalsgasse, which they had taken over from the former monastery-owned hospital.

Decline and end

After the city built the new "Hospital for the Holy Spirit" in the valley at Mühlengraben in 1308, the monastery hospital gradually lost its importance. The associated decline in income, the general decline of the monastery, and finally the effects of the Reformation , which was energetically supported by Johann Hefentreger , the monastery pastor, led to the dissolution of the monastery in 1530 and the sale of its property. The last superior of the monastery, Mater Gertrud von Urff , was resigned to the village mark of the long desolate place Berningshausen . The monastery property was taken over by the “Hospital of the Holy Spirit”. The monastery buildings slowly fell into disrepair, and the Katharinenkirche, although still used as a place of worship, was neglected. In Merian's engraving from 1655, however, it can still be seen as a rather impressive building.

The Fritzlar Ursuline Monastery was built on the site of this monastery in the years 1713–1719 , the buildings of which are now used by the Fritzlar Ursuline School.

Individual evidence

  1. Trosse, pp. 28-30.
  2. However, it was first mentioned in 1239. (Ide, p. 117).
  3. Lohmann, "Vom Medieval Spital ...", p. 41.
  4. Lohmann, "Vom Medieval Spital ...", p. 43
  5. ^ Ide, p. 408
  6. The young priest Johann Hefentreger , who was appointed pastor and confessor in the monastery in 1521 , became an advocate of the Lutheran Reformation at a very early age , gave Protestant sermons and in 1524 married the former nun Elisabeth Sperbelitz from the Katharinenkloster. He was expelled from Fritzlar with his wife and child in August 1525, was given the post of pastor in the city of Waldeck in 1526 and became a reformer of the county of Waldeck .


  • Andrea Froneck-Kramer, Animus; the spirit, the mind, the courage, the heart. History of the Ursuline monastery Fritzlar from 1711-2006 , Euregioverlag, Kassel, 2007, ISBN 978-3-933617-28-6
  • Sabine Trosse, "For the purpose of charity and hospitality - translated for the first time: The document for the foundation of the Fritzlar hospital from 1147," in: Sabine Trosse (ed.), A city in the mirror of the healing arts: Streiflichter on 850 years of Fritzlar hospitality, commemorative publication of the hospital zum Heiligen Geist, Fritzlar (historical series of publications by the State Welfare Association of Hesse, sources and studies, Volume 5), LWV, Kassel, 1998, ISBN 3-89203-038-3 (pp. 28–32)
  • Clemens Lohmann, "From the medieval hospital to the modern clinic: The developments up to 1945," in: Sabine Trosse (ed.), A city in the mirror of the healing arts: Streiflichter on 850 years of Fritzlar hospital system, Festschrift of the hospital to the Holy Spirit, Fritzlar (historical Series of publications by the State Welfare Association of Hesse, sources and studies, Volume 5), LWV, Kassel, 1998, ISBN 3-89203-038-3 (pp. 34–71)
  • Clemens Lohmann, Cathedral and Imperial City of Fritzlar: Guide through history and architecture. 2nd edition, Magistrat der Stadt Fritzlar, Fritzlar, 2005, ISBN 3-925665-03-X (pp. 47–48)
  • Werner Ide, From Adorf to Zwesten: Local history paperback for the Fritzlar-Homberg district. A. Bernecker, Melsungen, 1972 (p. 117)
  • C. Alhard von Drach, The architectural and art monuments in Fritzlar; Facsimile of the curiae, churches and chapels (without cathedral) [1909], reprint, Geschichtsverein Fritzlar, Contributions to City History, No. 6, Fritzlar, 1989 (pp. 37–40)

Coordinates: 51 ° 7 '47.1 "  N , 9 ° 16'22.8"  E