|Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey|
|UNESCO world heritage|
|West wing of Corvey with westwork facade
|Criteria :||(ii) (iii) (iv)|
|Reference No .:||1447|
|UNESCO region :||Europe and North America|
|History of enrollment|
|Enrollment:||2014 (session 38)|
Corvey (also Corvei, Korvei, Korvey ; Latin Corbeia nova in contrast to Corbeia antiqua (Corbeia gallica) ; Middle Low German Corveyge (15th century)) is a former imperial Benedictine abbey directly on the Weser in today's urban area of Höxter in North Rhine-Westphalia Westphalia . Corvey was an important Carolingian monastery , it had one of the most valuable libraries in the country, and numerous bishops emerged from the abbey.
The abbey developed in the 9th and 10th centuries into a cultural, intellectual and economic center in the Saxon region . After a period of crisis, Corvey became a reform monastery in the 11th century. Later it built up a closed territory as the " keyserliches and high princely monastery Corvey ", but lost its importance in the late Middle Ages. As a prince abbey, Corvey belonged to the Lower Rhine-Westphalian Empire in the early modern period . The abbot had a virile vote in the imperial council .
The aftermath of the Thirty Years' War threatened its very existence. From the late 17th century, however, the church and the monastery buildings were rebuilt in the Baroque style . In the period that followed, the abbey lost its importance and attraction. In 1792 the monastery was therefore converted into a prince-bishopric on its own initiative . Territorial independence was abolished by the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss as early as 1803, but the diocese remained in existence until 1825. In 1820 Corvey came into the possession of Landgrave Viktor Amadeus of Hessen-Rotenburg . He bequeathed his foreign possessions Corvey and Ratibor to his nephew Victor , the Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst . Victor accepted the title Duke of Ratibor and Prince of Corvey at the age of majority in 1840, renouncing his Schillingsfürster inheritance claims . Corvey has been in the family since then.
In terms of architectural history, the Carolingian westwork with its frescoes from the 9th century is important. The former abbey church is a monument to baroque furnishings. In the cemetery next to the church lies the grave of the poet of the German national anthem , Hoffmann von Fallersleben . Inside the palace, the imperial hall, the ducal salons and the princely library with around 74,000 volumes can be viewed.
In June 2014, UNESCO granted the westwork of the Catholic Church and the Civitas Corvey the status of a World Heritage Site . In what is now the castle, the Duke, together with the city and the district, has set up a museum with a program of cultural events with concerts and exhibitions.
Nestled in the countryside of the Weserbergland is Corvey right on the west bank of the Weser north of Weser arc. Corvey has been connected to Höxter by a straight tree- lined avenue, Corveyer Allee, since 1716 and is located in the city's urban area; the Lüchtringen district borders to the northeast. The Weserradweg R99 and the Europaradweg R1 Corvey also connect with the old town of Höxter . The Solling , which already belongs to Lower Saxony, joins on the opposite side of the Weser . The next town in Lower Saxony on the eastern side of the Weser is Holzminden .
Corvey is surrounded in the north and south by agricultural land belonging to the ducal house of Ratibor. The foundation walls of the former Probstei tom Roden , which was settled from Corvey and dissolved in the 16th century, can be seen in the northwest . In the south, archaeological finds point to the Corvey desert . The Höxter harbor with the waterways and shipping office of Hann can be reached on foot to the west . Münden and the disused Höxter train station. The closest major cities are Paderborn , Bielefeld , Hanover , Göttingen and Kassel .
After the conquest of Saxony, Charlemagne wanted to consolidate and promote Christianization in the newly won area by founding an imperial monastery. The implementation of the plans was delayed by the death of Charles. The half-brothers Adalhard , Abbot of Corbie (Corbeia Aurea) on the Somme , and Wala , a cousin of Charlemagne, founded with the consent of Louis the Pious in 815 or 816 as Nova Corbeia (new Corbie) the first monastery in the Saxon land in Hethis , initially as the provost of Corbie. That is where the first monks came.
The place of Hethis cannot be precisely located to this day. According to Paul Wigand's account , Hethis was located in the immediate vicinity of today's Neuhaus im Solling in Lower Saxony. Other sources consider an area northeast of Neuhaus between the village of Silberborn and the northwest end of the peat bog east of Silberborn or a place not far from the Externsteine to be more realistic. It is clear, however, that Hethis turned out to be unsuitable for monastic life because of his sterility. The monks did not know how to get enough food and clothing and were dependent on relief supplies from the mother monastery. Despite material hardship, monastery life flourished in Nova Corbeia . The monastery school started its operations and the monastery students observed and lived faithfully and piously the monastery rules. But the need became very great, so that the monks split into three parts, each under a prior. In this context, the provost Adelbert began to think about a change of location. Surprisingly, the monks received the news that Adalhard the Elder had been called back from his exile by Ludwig the Pious and was able to resume his offices. He arranged for a large relief shipment from Corbie and asked the king for permission to look for a more suitable location.
In this context, the convent moved its seat in 822 to the place of today's Corvey Castle. The monastery was built at the junction of the Hellweg over the Weser on the west bank and was then a little east of the Huxori royal court (later Höxter). In connection with the move, monks from the Fulda monastery expanded the convent by about half. At the same time, the monastery formally achieved independence with the imperial support of Corbie. It was managed in personal union with the mother monastery until 826.
The emperor gave Corvey the royal court and relics of Saint Stephen in 823 . At the same time, the mother monastery Corvey confirmed the possession of all previously Corbie own goods in Saxony . The monastery was also granted immunity and the free election of abbots.
The close ties between monastery and royalty already existed at this time is shown by the fact that Corvey became the involuntary abode of the disgraced Hilduin of Saint-Denis . Against this background, the reliquary translation of Saint Vitus from the cathedral of Saint-Denis near Paris took place in 836 . This made Vitus the tribal saint of the Saxons . Later the Vitus patronage of the Episcopal Church in Prague was traced back to Corvey. Corvey, dedicated to the great Saints Stephen and Vitus, was the destination of many pilgrims. One of the most important works from the early history of Corvey, the Translatio sancti Viti, reports on the transmission .
In addition to the neighboring Herford Abbey , Corvey became a center of early mission in Scandinavia. In 823 the mother monastery sent Corbie Ansgar (later Bishop of Hamburg-Bremen) to Corvey as a teacher and preacher. Corvey participated in the first attempts at proselytizing in Scandinavia through the person of Ansgar.
Corvey was one of the richest monasteries in Germany thanks to royal transfers of goods and gifts from the Saxon nobility. The acquisitions were recorded in the Corveyer traditions . Through Ludwig the Pious (778-840), Höxter, the Eresburg and Meppen came into the possession of Corvey. Ludwig the German (around 806–876) gave Hemeln , Hemmendorf and the Visbek Abbey , Zehntkirchen in the Diocese of Osnabrück and vineyards near Litzig on the Moselle. Lothar I (795–855) gave the monastery of Rügen and its surrounding area. However, Corvey was never able to enforce this claim, which was partly made through forgery of documents until modern times. According to the tradition of the monastery, Empress Judith (795–843) is said to have donated a precious cross. Until the abolition of the monastery, Judith bread was distributed to the poor every year to commemorate it.
One focus of the property was the area around Corvey itself on the upper Weser. In addition there was the so-called “Corveyer Nordland” in the area of the lower Ems over the Hase to the Hunte , the area around Marsberg an der Diemel and the properties on the middle Leine and in what was then East Saxony around Gröningen . The property was divided into villages from several farms. Corvey was able to maintain formal overlordship over the county of Schwalenberg until the 17th century .
In the 14th century the monastery still had 60 churches. These were grouped in particular around the Propsteien Gröningen and Obermarsberg , the former mission church Meppen and Corvey itself. In the immediate vicinity of the Corvey Abbey were two smaller (later abandoned or relocated) provosts or monasteries Nienkerken and tom Roden . There was also the Schaaken Monastery founded by Corvey , the subordinate Werbe Monastery and the Kemnade Monastery .
As early as 833, the monastery received the right to mint the market of the lay settlement Corvey. This privilege was the first of its kind in the East Franconian Empire . Initially, imperial type coins were struck, which therefore cannot be assigned to individual mints. In the course of the 11th century, Corvey developed its own types of coins. Saracho von Rossdorf is the first abbot to appear on a coin. The abbey had minting rights not only in Corvey itself, but also in other places. There had been one in Marsberg since 900 . Meppen followed in 945. In the 13th century there were also mints in Volkmarsen and Höxter. At least for a time, the Archbishop of Cologne, in his capacity as Duke of Westphalia, was able to dispute Corvey's right to mint in Corvey, Marsberg and Volkmarsen in the 13th century. There the coinage came to a complete standstill in the 14th century. In Höxter, the coinage continued with various interruptions until almost the end of the abbey. In addition to silver coins, copper and gold coins were struck. The last minting of copper coins with a value of 2 and 4 pfennigs took place in 1787.
An economically differentiated settlement developed and the place had to supply Corvey with knives and pliers at the beginning of the 12th century. On April 20, 1150, the monastery received from King Konrad III. the right to dig and mine ore veins on Mount Eresburch for gold, silver, copper, lead or tin. On October 21, 1192, Emperor Heinrich VI enfeoffed. Abbot Widukind and his successors with the right to ore mining in the entire monastery area as well as the corresponding tithe . In practice, this mainly affected the area around Marsberg. At least the latter document suggests a developed mining operation on the Diemel. Even after the focus of the settlement was relocated to Obermarsberg , mining, iron and metal processing remained important. Mining in the actual monastery area around Corvey itself was less important in the Middle Ages and the early modern period. In legal terms, the monastery took over the mining law of the Electorate of Cologne , as it was in the Duchy of Westphalia .
The Corvey settlement developed into a city. During a meeting on May 13, 1265, she received the assistance of the Brunswick dukes Albrecht and Johannes, in case the citizens of the neighboring town of Höxter continue to show themselves as rebels and disobey the dukes. This promotion of the neighboring town of Höxter is likely to have caused constant tension. The leitmotif was probably economic competition, which was particularly evident in two directly neighboring bridges over the Weser. However, the dukes could not guarantee the promised support. On July 15, 1265, Bishop Simon von Paderborn and the citizens of the city of Höxter, together with Corveyer Ministeriale, attacked the city of Corvey and completely devastated it.
Two separate households were fed from the income, one for the maintenance of the convent and the other for the needs of the abbot. This included considerable sums for the representation, the royal service, the costs for the accommodation of the royal court and for the construction and maintenance of the church and buildings.
Corvey became one of the centers of Christian culture in north-western Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries. The beginnings of the monastery library, the books of which were scattered during the secularization , were laid by Ludwig the Pious. The Saxon laws of Charlemagne, the five first books of the annals of the Roman historian Tacitus and the writings of the Roman writer and philosopher Cicero are still preserved today . The monastery became one of the most important mediators of West Franconian culture in Saxony. The high point of this phase was in the time of the abbots Bovo I and Bovo II between 879 and 916. In addition to the abbots, the poet Agius , who worked in Corvey, and the historian Poeta Saxo should be mentioned. In addition to the translation report of St. Vitus already mentioned, various lives and the Annales Corbeienses were written in the monastery . Bovo II wrote a commentary on Boëthius . Two Corveyer monks wrote down the Heliand manuscript , which is now in Munich . The form of liturgy practiced in Corvey with the monastic hours of prayers also had an impact . The fact that next to Bishop Ansgar his four successors in Hamburg and Bremen emerged from Corvey speaks for the great importance of the monastery at this time . A total of 23 bishops came from this monastery in the first four centuries of existence. The fact that Pope Gregory V came from Corvey is more of a legend.
The three-aisled basilica of St. Stephen and St. Vitus was started in 830 and consecrated in 844. 873-885 which was Westwerk modeled after the Aachener Pfalzkapelle is connected and thus the second oldest Westwerk obtained at all. It was one of the largest buildings in northern Germany of its time. The existing frescoes from the 9th century show ancient motifs from the Odyssey .
King Arnulf visited the new church in 889 and Abbot Bovo I presented the monastery as a memorial foundation for the Carolingian royal family . After the death of Ludwig the child and the end of the East Franconian Carolingians in 911, Corvey remained an important monastery in the Saxon region. Since the first visit of Conrad I in 913, Corvey has served as a monastery palatinate, including in the years 940, 987 and six times during the reign of Henry II. Up to 1203, 23 visits by kings are recorded. However, the number of visits was probably even higher. The visits of the kings testify to Corvey's reputation, but they also put a heavy strain on the monastery's economy.
Relations with the culture of the West Franconian Empire ended in the 10th century. Instead, the intellectual relationships narrowed to the Saxon area. Bovo III is considered to be one of the main representatives of the Ottonian Renaissance . In addition, the chronicler Widukind von Corvey worked there between 942 and 973 , who among other things created his Saxon history there .
In the course of time the monastery breeding subsided. The time as a reform monastery began with Emperor Heinrich II . In 1015, under the influence of Meinwerk , the bishop of Paderborn , he deposed Abbot Walo and put Druthmar in his place . This came from the Lorsch monastery and was associated with the Gorz reform movement . He was only able to push through the changes against stiff resistance. Most of the monks left the monastery. Only nine brothers remained in the abbey. As a result, other abbots came from Lorsch or Echternach .
At the time of Abbot Markward , Corvey was partially oriented towards the Hirsauer Reform . However, there were major differences. While in the monasteries of the Hirsau Reform the respective local bishop handed the bishop's staff to the newly elected abbots, in Corvey the elected abbot himself took it from the altar. There was no subordination under Hirsau. Instead there was a fraternity agreement between the two monasteries. In addition to the impulses emanating from Anno II , such as the establishment of the Grafschaft monastery , Corvey became a center of monastic reform in the Westphalian region. In the following time it became a reform force itself and sent monks and abbots to six other monasteries in Saxony. Elsewhere, Corvey monks established the founding convention. In addition, Corvey contributed to the monastic renewal of various women's convents during this time. At the time of Markward, 86 new monks entered the monastery. In contrast, there were only 22 new monks in the previous 25 years.
A novelty in the course of the church reform movement was the formation of lay brotherhoods . These Vitus and Stephen brotherhoods came into being in Corvey at the time of Markwards and Erkenbert in various places in which the monastery held property or other rights. The Vitus Church in Goslar made the start . The names of 1350 members are known from the period between 1081 and 1138 alone. The brotherhoods had their own statutes and gathered to eat together, to support the poor and to commemorate the dead. The entrance fees were used for the benefit of the monastery. For their part, the monks commemorated the dead of the brotherhoods in their worship services. But the brotherhoods also prayed for the monks. From a worldly perspective, especially in the uncertain times of the investiture controversy, the brotherhoods were an important pillar of the monastery.
Corvey between Emperor and Pope
The reform movement was accompanied by a gradual departure from the Salian royal house and a move towards the camp of Gregory VII . At the time of Warin II , the monastery was still a place of negotiation between supporters of Henry IV and his Saxon opponents, but soon developed into a center of the Gregorians.
In 1118 the monastery took Theoger von Sankt Georgen . After he was elected bishop of Metz by the church reform party , he was demonstratively ordained bishop in Corvey by the cardinal legate Kuno von Praeneste with the participation of numerous other leading Gregorians. The new bishop exercised his ecclesiastical office immediately when he consecrated the St. George's Church in Corvey, an St. Andrew's altar and the crypt of the monastery church.
The temporary transfer of ownership of Corvey to Adalbert von Bremen , ordered by the Emperor in 1065, belongs to the context of the investiture dispute . The parish tithes in the Diocese of Osnabrück were lost at this time. With the support of Corveyer vassals and imperial troops, Abbot Markward was forcibly expelled in 1102 by Abbot Günther von Hersfeld , who was a follower of Henry IV, and the monastic community was destroyed. But already a year later Günther died, which was seen as a divine sign. Markward was able to take office again. Contrary to the right to free election of abbots, Heinrich V. Abbot established Erkenbert . As a result, Corvey came closer to the royal family at times and Erkenbert followed the emperor to Hungary in 1108 and to Rome in 1110/11.
Already at this time the concern for the preservation of the material basis of the monastery began. For this purpose Erkenbert had a list of goods created. At the same time, arguments began with the servants and the monastery governors. After the fall of Heinrich the Lion, the Schwalenberg counts became monastery bailiffs from 1180 onwards, before they were vice bailiffs.
Since the 1130s, monastery breeding began to decline again. Corvey experienced a final flowering phase under Wibald von Stablo (1146–1158). During that time, the westwork was expanded to its current two-tower shape. In his time, alienated property rights were reasserted. He took action against predatory counts and attacks by ministerials. He also re-established monastic discipline. The monastery was so prosperous that it ordered a number of precious manuscripts, including the Liber vitae .
The artistic Liber vitae may have originated in the Helmarshausen monastery . It contains the names of all of Corvey's monks and abbots from the time the work was founded until it was created. In addition there are the lists of names of 76 spiritual communities associated with Corvey in a prayer fraternity. This book is one of the most important manuscripts in the State Archives in Münster. The information shows that Corvey was connected to communities of various observances. In addition to its own provosts, the Stablo monastery and the mother monastery Corbie were at the top.
Late medieval decline and sovereignty of the territory
After Wibald's death, Corvey quickly lost its importance and its earlier role in the empire and in the Roman curia. The monastery was of political importance at the time of Abbot Widukind (1189–1203). But the abbots that followed and a convent fire in 1242 contributed to the debt and economic decline. Relations with Rome were permanently disrupted by the anti-Roman policies of Abbots Dietmar II von Stockhausen (1206-1216) and Hermann I von Holte (1223-1254). Since the middle of the 13th century with the end of the Staufer period, Corvey could hardly play an independent role towards the archbishops of Cologne , who as dukes of Westphalia also had material interests in the area, as well as the bishops of Paderborn and Munster .
With the relocation of royal power to southern Germany under the Hohenstaufen dynasty and the subsequent weakening of kingship as a whole, Corvey largely lost the protection of the respective king. The abbots reacted by creating as closed a territory as possible. In doing so, they inevitably came into conflict with surrounding competitors. In addition to the bishops of Paderborn and various counts, these included the dukes of Braunschweig and Lüneburg , the landgraves of Hesse and the archbishops of Cologne. This led to the abbots neglecting their spiritual duties and preferring to build castles, as a chronicle of the abbots lamented as early as 1189. The fortifications included the Brunsburg , Landegge , Kugelsburg and Lichtenfels Castle .
Since 1220 Corvey was a "princes" imperial abbey . In contrast, however, there were considerable losses. In the course of the so-called Osnabrück tithe dispute and through alienation, the abbey lost the tithe and most of the property income in the Diocese of Osnabrück. In the area of the County of Waldeck , Corvey lost possessions in the 13th century in favor of the Counts and the Archbishopric of Cologne. The Solling , acquired in 1198, was also lost.
Ultimately, only the area around Corvey remained of the formerly widely scattered property. The monastery territory was about 275 km² (roughly the area of today's town of Höxter and its twelve localities). About 10,000 people lived there at the end of the Old Kingdom . It was bordered in the east by the Weser, in the west and south the area bordered on the territory of the Prince-Bishop of Paderborn , in whose diocese it was located. In addition to the main town of Höxter, it comprised 16 villages.
The economic, political and intellectual-cultural phase of weakness lasted throughout the late Middle Ages . The abbots of the 14th and 15th centuries were mostly insignificant and sometimes unworthy. In contrast, the Convention gained influence. In the 15th century, the monastery had reached the lowest point of its previous development.
Early modern age
In the course of the imperial reform , Corvey came to the Lower Rhine-Westphalian Empire in 1500 and thus became territory in the Holy Roman Empire . The Abbot of Corvey had a personal seat and vote ( viril vote ) in the Reichsfürstenrat of the Reichstag and was not only represented there on a corporate level ( curate vote ) like most of the other abbots directly under the Empire . The realm register stipulated that Corvey had to provide two horsemen, nine foot soldiers and 120 guilders for the Imperial Army around 1522. German, Low German and Latin were the languages spoken in the Corvey Territory. Its area was 275 square kilometers around 1800 with around 10,000 inhabitants. Corvey was successively absorbed in Nassau-Orange (1803), Kingdom of Westphalia (1807), Prussia (1815) and the media principality of Corvey (1820).
Also around 1500, when Abbot Franz von Ketteler joined the Bursfeld Congregation, an inner renewal began, which also began with securing the material foundations. However, these efforts overlapped with the Reformation, which had penetrated the Corveyer territory since 1533 . Contrary to the Jus reformandi , the abbots did not succeed in preventing the permanent establishment of the Reformation in Höxter, Amelunxen and Bruchhausen . This has greatly weakened the abbot's position. At the time of Abbot Dietrich von Beringhausen, the first attempts at Catholic renewal began around 1590, but this counter-Reformation approach initially had little success. On the contrary, the monastery itself threatened to turn to the Reformation at times. The intervention of the Bursfeld Congregation put an end to this. Between 1585 and 1616, the spiers and the roofs of the westwork were renewed and the westwork on the upper floor was equipped with three altars. The Counter Reformation in the abbey area was largely completed by 1624 with the exception of the town of Höxter.
The monastery was badly damaged in the Thirty Years' War . The “great monastery fire” of 1635, caused by marauding Protestant troops (Brunswick, Brandenburg, Sweden), destroyed large parts of the monastery library. There were also military occupations and high contributions.
Corvey was on the verge of collapse when Bishop Christoph Bernhard von Galen became administrator in 1665 after the monks had decided not to elect an abbot from their own ranks. He donated the baroque abbey church and revitalized the monastery by reinstating a noble convent. The sovereign authority over Höxter was also renewed. After monastic life had somewhat consolidated, the abbot was again elected from among the ranks of the convent. Wilhelm Raabe dedicated the story Höxter and Corvey to the time of Galens .
The dilapidated monastery church, with the exception of its westwork, was replaced from 1667 by a new Gothic church with baroque furnishings. In particular, Abbot Florence von dem Felde (1696–1714) had the monastery rebuilt in a generous baroque style between 1699 and 1756. Corvey Castle still shows this condition almost unchanged today. Inscriptions, including on monuments in honor of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious, directly at the main entrance to the monastery, made it clear that Corvey now saw himself as the center of the Counter-Reformation . The abbot expressed his princely aspirations in the magnificent imperial hall. Abbot Maximilian von Horrich (1714–1721) made a contribution to rebuilding the library.
In the 17th and 18th centuries there was an intense focus on the history of the abbey. However, the historians of the time, later referred to as the Corveyer “historians of lies”, sometimes invented or falsified sources. In the 19th century, this led to various misconceptions for Paul Wigand , archivist and historian.
Principality of Corvey and the beginning of secularization
The imperial abbey , which always tried to free itself from its dependence on the bishops of Paderborn , had an income of around 100,000 thalers in 1804 and had around 12,000 inhabitants at that time. The impending extinction of the convent towards the end of the 18th century gave a strong motivation boost, as in 1786 the convent only had 13 members. Since Corvey only accepted noble candidates and there were hardly any applicants left, an attempt was made to avoid the downfall by elevation to the diocese.
In 1779, as a first step towards this, the elevation to the rank of a territorial abbey could be achieved, that is, the inhabitants of the Corveyer territory, whose sovereign the abbot was already in secular matters, were now relieved of the jurisdiction of the Paderborn bishop and the subordinate to the abbot. The episcopal power of consecration, however, remained with the Bishop of Paderborn. In the presence of the abbot, the convention decided that the divine service, which had always retained its Benedictine character , should not be reduced even after a possible secularization of the abbey. That spoke for a still strict monastic daily routine. The alumni of the seminary opened in 1786 were called in to hold the prayer times , as most of the monks were too old. At the same time, the number of future canons was set at twelve and their salary at 500 thalers. The Vita communis was largely reformed and the cloister was lifted.
In 1788 the abbey finally submitted its application for secularization to the Pope . This abolished the monastery in 1792, raised the prince-abbot Theodor von Brabeck to prince-bishop and the abbey area to the diocese ( bishopric ), although it comprised only ten parishes. The prior of the abbey became cathedral dean , the monks became canons (capitulars), including Ferdinand von Lüninck , who was heavily involved in the conversion procedure. More domicellaries were added and the abbey church, which had become a cathedral , received six cathedral vicars . The clothes and the rights were adapted to the other German cathedral chapters. In 1794 the certificate was issued by the emperor and the new diocese, which only included the area of the old imperial abbey, was placed under the ecclesiastical province of Mainz . Theodor von Brabeck was succeeded by Ferdinand von Lüninck in 1794 as Prince-Bishop and last regional bishop of the diocese in the Kingdom of Prussia († 1825).
End of sovereignty
A little later in 1803, the Principality of Corvey was abolished by the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss . The territory fell as part of the Principality of Nassau-Oranien-Fulda to William V of Orange , from 1806 Wilhelm Friedrich Prince of Orange-Nassau . The new ruler of Orange had to pay pensions to the bishop and the canons. The bishop received 20,000 guilders a year. He was also allowed to use the palace garden. The bishop, like the earlier canons, but also other church servants such as cathedral organist, cathedral pastor or court chaplain, retained lifelong right of residence in Corvey as part of their pension. This restricted the use by the new owner for years.
In 1807 Corvey became part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia . Corvey was a crown domain at the time . However, apart from the castle and the park, only a few properties belonged to it. The actual Corvey domain was an imperial endowment. It is unclear who was the beneficiary. However, the income was lower than in earlier times, since the previous liquor monopoly was lifted. Corvey then became a royal Prussian domain in 1815. The clerical diocese of Corvey remained in existence until Ferdinand von Lüninck's death in 1825, when it was incorporated into the diocese of Paderborn .
Landgrave Viktor Amadeus von Hessen-Rotenburg , who was entitled to compensation in the late aftermath of the Congress of Vienna , received the media principality of Corvey from the King of Prussia in 1820 , together with the media principality of Ratibor . In his will of 1825, the Landgrave bequeathed these areas outside of Hesse to his nephew, Hereditary Prince Viktor zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst . The Landgrave died in 1834 and Hereditary Prince Viktor accepted the title Duke of Ratibor and Prince of Corvey at the age of majority in 1840, renouncing his Schillingsfürster inheritance claims .
Corvey privately owned
Duke Viktor I moved into Rauden near Ratibor in November 1840, with great sympathy from the population . This became his permanent residence while he rarely stayed in Corvey. It was not until 1844, shortly before his planned wedding, that the princely apartment in the west wing of the Corveyer Schloss was refurbished. On April 19, 1845, Duke Viktor married Princess Amelie, daughter of Prince Karl Egon II zu Fürstenberg .
Viktor I, Duke of Ratibor, had a prominent political role in the Kingdom of Prussia. He was elected President of the Prussian Mansion in 1877 . Later he was responsible for foreign affairs as a member of the Prussian State Council. His cultural commitment is particularly evident in his interest in the Princely Library in Corvey and various activities in Berlin, Silesia and Westphalia. He spent his last years in Rauden, where he died on January 30, 1893.
After the death of his father, Hereditary Prince Viktor II (1847–1923) became Duke and Prince of Corvey. He married Countess Marie Breunner -Enkevoirth in 1877 . In 1894 she inherited the Lower Austrian estates of Grafenegg , Neuaigen and Asparn , which - together with Corvey - are still owned by the family today. Like his father, Duke Viktor II also held political offices in the Kingdom of Prussia. Duke Viktor III. (1879–1945) took over the administration of the ducal house from his father in 1923. In 1945 the family had to leave their residence in Rauden near Ratibor and flee to Corvey. The Silesian possessions with 34,000 hectares of forest fell to Poland.
Duke Viktor III. died in Corvey in 1945. The administration was taken over by his son Franz-Albrecht Metternich-Sandor , who took up residence in Neuaigen (Lower Austria). Since 1945 the general administration of the Herzoglich-Ratibor'schen possessions has been in Corvey.
In the period from autumn 1944 to spring 1945, employees of Hitler's staff used Corvey as an alternative base for the reconstruction of cities destroyed by bombs. Albert Speer , in collaboration with his colleague Rudolf Wolters, commissioned the staff to create plans and models for Hitler's world capital Germania . Documents were published in 1997 in the exhibition Monuments of megalomania. National Socialist architecture shown in Corvey Castle . It showed extracts of around 150 photos of the plans and models of the 800 or so photos that the Corvey staff had forgotten. They were rediscovered immediately after the war by the lord of the castle, who did not make them accessible to the public. Only Höxter's former city archivist and deputy director of the Höxter-Corvey Museum was able to convince the owner of its importance in 1996. The models photographed have disappeared to this day.
After the end of the Second World War, extensive renovations were carried out on the buildings and facilities. Roofs, facades, windows and doors were renewed and refurbished. The most beautiful rooms in the palace building should be made accessible to the public. In addition to the ducal house, the city of Höxter and the district of Höxter are the sponsors of the Höxter-Corvey gGmbH, which organizes the museum, cultural and educational program. Since then Corvey has developed into a cultural center in the Weserbergland. Franz-Albrecht Metternich-Sandor donated the abbey church to the parish of St. Stephanus and Vitus . In 1995 the Tonenburg castle in Albaxen , which had previously served as a retreat for the abbots, was sold. After Franz Albrecht's death in 2009, his son, Viktor Metternich-Sándor took over the administration of Corvey. He is the first Duke of Racibórz to move entirely to Corvey.
On September 20, 1999, Corvey was included in the so-called tentative list by the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs . It is a prerequisite for a state to apply to the World Heritage Committee for the site to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List . A working group consisting of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the ducal house of Ratibor, the parish of St. Stephanus and Vitus, representatives of the city , the district and the regional association Westphalia-Lippe worked out the application documents.
The title of the application is: The Carolingian Westwork and the Civitas Corvey. The application documents include the actual application text and a management plan. There is also a conference volume with the presentations of two international symposia in Corvey and Paderborn, as well as photo documentation. The application was signed by Ute Schäfer for the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia in December 2012 .
The three most important selection criteria for achieving World Heritage status are uniqueness, authenticity (historical authenticity) and integrity (intactness). In relation to Corvey, the following characteristics can be summarized: Corvey has the oldest and only almost completely preserved Carolingian westwork. The central main room on the upper floor, surrounded on three sides by galleries, draws on ancient models in its shape and original artistic furnishings. The furnishing with life-size stucco figures, the colored room setting with architectural structures, ornamental friezes and mythological wall paintings, which are the only public example of wall paintings in Carolingian times, has been largely preserved. This makes the westwork one of the most outstanding examples of the “ Carolingian Renaissance ”.
The monastery with its school and library led to the emergence of the early and high medieval town of Corvey, which was as much a trading center as it was a religious and cultural center. This city, which fell into desolation in the 13th century, and the formerly fortified monastery district have been preserved as archaeological monuments. In addition, Corvey had a political function on the fringes of the Frankish Empire, and his missionary mandate had political-religious consequences for large parts of Europe.
The nominated World Heritage includes the Carolingian westwork, the foundations of the Carolingian monastery town and the Carolingian monastery church on an area of twelve hectares. These are preserved under the existing palace complex as ground memorials. A 69 hectare buffer zone surrounds the nominated site. According to the guidelines of the UNESCO World Heritage Commission, this is defined as the area that surrounds the registered world heritage and whose use and development are restricted by supplementary statutory or customary rules that provide additional protection for the property. Accordingly, the city of Corvey, which fell desolately in the 13th century, is not a nominated World Heritage site.
The following goals are associated with recognition as a world heritage site: the preservation and preservation of the existing building and the planning of future construction, conservation and development measures. In addition, ensuring scientific support for future measures, conflict prevention and management in the event of a conflict of interests, securing the authentic use of the church, consistent application of sustainable concepts in the face of economic and tourist pressure and anchoring the property in national and international awareness.
In September 2013, a commission from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) came to Corvey and obtained information on site.
On June 21, 2014, the entire former Corvey monastery complex was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO under the official title "The Carolingian Westwork and the Civitas Corvey", making it the 39th World Heritage Site in Germany. This means that the westwork of the church and the former monastery grounds, which are identical in size to today's monastery grounds, are part of the world cultural heritage.
The designation as a World Heritage Site was officially sealed on May 26, 2015 with the unveiling of a plaque on the walls of the former abbey church.
The management plan, which is included in the application documents of the World Heritage application as Appendix A , pursues the goal of preserving the World Heritage, communicating it to people and strengthening the conditions for long-term preservation. In addition, urban and landscape integration form further important goals.
With a series of urban and landscape planning measures, current deficits are to be remedied and potentials taken up. The first point mentioned is the reorganization of traffic conditions, in particular the development of Corvey for all types of traffic. As far as motorized individual traffic is concerned, Corveyer Allee will be closed to through traffic at the level of the bridge over the Schelpe , and the eastern section up to the castle will be reduced to a width of three meters and released for pedestrians. Visitors approach the sights with an attunement on foot. New parking spaces are being created south of Corveyer Allee in front of the bridge over the Schelpe. It is also possible to travel by train. To this end, a new Corvey stop on regional train line 84 is being built north of the port. This planned stop is within easy walking distance of the monastery / palace area in the immediate vicinity of the car park, the planned bicycle station and the newly planned Weserschifffahrt pier. The network of footpaths and cycle paths will be expanded and a network of paths north of Corveyer Allee will be added. On the one hand, it opens up the former provost's office tom Roden and, on the other hand, forms a circular path around the deserted city along the former fortifications. Another footpath follows the route of the old Hellweg and crosses the southern part of a planned archaeological park. This path is designed cautiously and at the same time leads to archaeological sites that are sporadically opened on the area as a window into the past and thus presented to visitors.
In addition, measures relating to the world heritage sites are another point in the management plan. In summary, maintaining the lines of sight plays an important role. Disturbing influences from urban development can be reduced or mitigated. Dense and sufficiently deep planting enhances the design of the outskirts and marks a permanent boundary between the settlement area and the landscape. It is planned to upgrade and integrate the Propstei tom Roden as part of a competition.
In addition, the management plan proposes measures for the design of the buffer zone and urban desertification. This includes demarcation and access to the buffer zone, relocation of incompatible uses and regulatory measures as well as the design of an archaeological park.
The main focus is on the westwork and the Civitas Corvey itself. The aim is to preserve, use and look after the historical buildings from different eras. In this context, there is the reconstruction of the castle's outer bailey in order to serve as the visitor center of the world heritage site in the future. Commercial uses have become established in the buildings of the Domainhof. Parts of the building that are still vacant today are being prepared and permanently maintained. A repair and future use as a hotel is planned for the Dreizehnlindenhaus in front of the gates of the monastery district. With a monument preservation design of the monastery garden east of the castle, this open space will again experience a use and design appropriate to the monument and be made accessible to the public. The domain courtyard will be freed from subsequently built storage and storage buildings and will receive a uniform, restrained surface design.
Catalog of measures
A detailed catalog of measures lists suggestions that are necessary for the preservation and visual integrity, but especially for optimizing the experience of the nominated World Heritage site. These measures still have to be qualified and specified in detail and secured in terms of monument and planning law. Financing and, if necessary, compensation issues must also be clarified:
Outside area, church forecourt
- Renewal of the cover plates on the outer walls of the atrium
- Possibly temporary separation between the westwork and the baroque nave
- Indoor climate study
- Creation of barrier poverty
- Restoration documentation, permanent condition monitoring, plaster mapping and a concept of measures to preserve the Carolingian wall paintings
- Dendro dating and plaster analyzes
- Repair plaster
- Plastering and sinopia closure / dry cleaning / liming
- Restoration of the staircases in the towers and the doors to the towers
- Removal of the wooden cladding to the tower stairs
- Escape door to the castle
- Barrier of the tower stairs with new wrought iron gates
- Accommodation of the suction effect and avoidance of air movements in the area of the wall paintings
- Entrance floor
- Thorough renovation and restoration of the baroque spring shop organ in terms of monument preservation
- Structural analysis of the climatic problems within the organ
- Refurbishment of the pipework damaged by lead corrosion
Westwork towers, tower floors and attic
- Monitoring of structural cracks
- Measuring the towers and monitoring the inclination
- Monitoring of the Carolingian plasters
- Continuous examination of the salt efflorescence
- Building material moisture measurements based on electrical conductivity
- Soil investigations to clarify the static load-bearing capacity
- Reduction of UV radiation through protective glazing
- Building physics investigation of the climatic situation between the nave, organ and Johanneschor
- Concept development for maintaining a room climate in accordance with the restoration specifications for baroque furnishings, organ and Johanneschor
- Conservation measures to protect the relics
- Uniform redesign of the lighting
- Restoration measures to repair damage to the sandstone floor
- Closing cracks in the exterior masonry
- Development of additional storage space for the parish, creation of a chair store
- Outside area, church forecourt
Castle / monastery building
Roofs: Repairing damage to all castle roofs
- Sealing of sandstone coverings, roof connections, chimney heads and copper gutters, eaves
- Replacement of snow guard planks
- Repair and sealing of the slate roofs of the two tower roofs and implementation of the associated sheet metal work
- Close cracks in the plaster and adjust the color
- Partially renew and paint the plinth plaster
- Rework, paint or partially replace wooden windows
- Rework and seal the sandstone sills and window frames
- Refurbish windows and doors if necessary
- Renovation of the baroque wooden stairwells in the north and east wings
Wood beam ceilings
- Static examination of the wooden beam ceilings, especially in the support area of the outer walls
- Renovation of ceiling beams including floor work etc.
- Use-neutral renovation of the rooms on the 2nd floor of the north or west wing
- Renovation of the Äbtegang on the 1st floor of the east wing, if possible restoration of the old room line ( enfilade )
- Renovation of the corridor on the 2nd floor of the east wing
- Use-neutral renovation of the rooms in the east wing, 2nd floor (today empty storage rooms)
- Roofs: Repairing damage to all castle roofs
- Fundamental safeguarding of the substance and restoration of the classicist salon rooms in the west wing, in particular the wallpaper, ceilings and floors
- Ducal salons
- Basic stabilization, safeguarding and restoration of the library's wooden floors, protection with carpets
- Cleaning, repairing and painting the ceilings, especially the stucco ceilings, also in the summer hall
- Cleaning and repairing the wallpapers that were not considered in the previous restoration work
- Protection of the wallpaper when the number of visitors increases
- Fundamental preservation of the substance and restoration of the library's classicist bookcases
- Basic restoration of the book inventory (mainly book maintenance, i.e. cleaning, if necessary mending and securing as well as greasing the leather areas)
- Wooden floors
Vorburg and former stables
- The existing and regionally typical sandstone roofing was re-covered according to historical specifications in so-called double roofing, including roof truss and eaves renovation
- Renewal of the copper channels
- Refurbishment of the partially existing chimney heads
- Repair of the slate roofs on the two tower roofs, including sheet metal work
- Close cracks and adjust color
- Partially renew and paint the plinth plaster
- Rework, paint or partially renew wooden windows, rework and seal sandstone sills and window frames
- Repair and renovation of the rooms in the outer bailey as a visitor center of the World Heritage site with entrance area, information center, museum shop and the museum educational rooms and facilities
Domain building and courtyard
- Red tile roofs: covering of the remaining tile roofs in the southern domain area according to historical specifications with typical sandstone roofing in so-called double roofing , including roof truss and eaves renovation
- Renewal of the copper channels
- Repairing damage to the roof connections
- If necessary, replacement of the snow guard planks
- Scaffold, clean and plaster all facades with trass lime mortar
- Revise and paint eaves cladding and windows worth preserving (only in non-residential areas)
- Renewal of the existing windows based on the model of the muntin windows still worth preserving
- Removal of modern disturbances in the facades (e.g. concrete windows)
- Opening of the southern domain entrance with installation of the wooden gates based on historical models
- South front of the domain courtyard: visualization and restoration of the old, historically significant gates in the wall and new valorization
- Dismantling of the disturbing, still existing agricultural facilities and implementation of a suitable site and open space design, including greening, which is suitable for tourist or commercial use
- Refurbishment and paving of the domain entrance
- External building: Dismantling and relocation of the unsuitable buildings on the domain courtyard, namely the former grain drying hall, garage building, scales, various sheds
- Interior work: non-use restoration of the former stables and the straw floors to usable areas, for example for museum purposes or for other compatible, commercial use
- Monument conservation design and opening of the convent garden according to baroque specifications (green area between the castle wall facing the Weser and the eastern domain area)
Ponds and ditches
- Partial removal of the vegetation
- Dredging the ponds and the water-bearing trenches according to the profile
- Visualization of the artistic water regime
- Exposing the castle wall of vegetation
- Checking the natural stone masonry and sandstone covers
- Repair of the imperfections and the grouting
- Horticultural and listed upgrading, lighting
Palace restaurant terrace
- Redesign of the visitor terrace with the necessary drainage and monument-compliant paving or sandstone cladding
- Removal of the existing asphalt pavement, excavation of the substructure, installation of a suitable, profile-appropriate base course and laying of natural stone paving based on the paving of the inner courtyard
Delivery traffic to the castle restaurant
- Relocation of the access to the northern backyard of the restaurant for suppliers and employees via the gate in the west of the courtyard in order to separate delivery traffic from the visitor area
- Convent garden
Design of the direct environment and the buffer zone
- Relocation of the existing visitor parking lot located directly in front of the castle
- Dismantling the old parking lot as a meadow and setting up the new parking lot facilities with a new street layout including lighting
- Horticultural and creative revision of the green areas in the immediate vicinity of the palace complex
- Removal of vegetation and design of the shore zone
Oak alley along the bike path
- Preservation and development of the tree population, professional care
Agricultural machine shop
- Relocation of the unsuitable machine hall and dismantling of the sealed area
- Usage-neutral repair of all parts of the building in the immediate vicinity of the domain entrance
Thirteen Linden House
- Comprehensive renovation of all parts of the building of the former inn and hotel building opposite the entrance portal from the point of view of the preservation of historical monuments so that it can be used again
Design of the eastern outskirts of Höxter
- Dense planting of the eastern outskirts along the industrial area with a number of evergreen species
- Creative shielding of commercial uses on the northern edge of the Corveyer Allee; Limitation of advertising facilities
Riverside path along the Weser
- Upgrade and design of the Weser promenade between Höxter and Corvey; Tree planting, dismantling of oversized traffic areas
Upgrading and integrating the Roden provost office
- Creation of pedestrian and cycle path connections between Corvey- and tom Roden
Lines of sight and visual references
- Exposing / keeping clear lines of sight and lines of sight
Demarcation and access to the world heritage site
- Staging of the main entrances from the west (Corveyer Allee) and north (Die Lüre) through designed bridges
- Marking of the entrances to the footpath / bike path along the Weser in the north and west (e.g. information boards)
- Marking the northern border of the urban desert between the outskirts of Höxter and Die Lüre by a row of trees
Relocation of incompatible uses and buildings
- Relocation of all unsuitable buildings including the sawmill in the area of the urban desert in the Weserbogen and other agricultural buildings as well as dismantling of the sealed areas, design as open areas
- Relocation of the rifle house, design as open space
Design of the archeological park of the urban desert
- Continuous surface design as a grazed meadow with groups of trees and bushes
- Point-by-point visualization of the archaeological findings along the traced old Hellweg
- Competition procedure for the design of the archaeological park
- Visitor parking
Transport and development
Motorized private transport
- Closure of the eastern section of Corveyer Allee to through traffic
- Construction of a turning system in the entrance area to the buffer zone
- Design of the eastern section as the main entrance for visitors
- Blocking of the southern section of the street Die Lüre for through traffic
- Dismantling of the street offset in the area of the parking lot in favor of a linear guide, design as an avenue
- Dismantling of the parking lot opposite the Dreizehnlindenhaus, design as open space
- Newer parking space for visitors on today's wasteland in the western entrance area to the Corvey deserted city
- Development of the monastery or palace area via the farm road along the railway line, restrained expansion of the path
- User parking space for the Dreizehnlindenhaus and adjacent parking space required (disabled people, event visitors, restaurant, hotel and church visitors)
- Creation of a new Corvey stop at the level of the port
Bicycle traffic and pedestrians
- Establishment of a bicycle station (bicycle parking and rental offers) in the area of the train stop at the port
- New footpaths and cycle paths to the north to the Propstei tom Roden and along the former fortifications of the deserted town of Corvey between the eastern edge of Höxter and the street Die Lüre
- Operation of a yaw ferry (Vitus ferry) between the Weser crossing in the course of the old Hellweg
- Relocation of the R 99 cycle path along the northern border of the buffer zone
- New pier for Weserschifffahrt Corvey in the area of the port
- Motorized private transport
After being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014, the local stakeholders are now obliged to implement the goals associated with being recognized as a World Heritage site and to contribute to the development of the World Heritage site. This includes, on the one hand, the Ducal House Ratibor in the form of Corvey gGmbH, which is currently being founded, as the owner of the property on which the foundations of the Civitas Corvey are located. In addition, the parish of St. Stephanus and Vitus as owners of the church and the westworks, the city of Höxter as a sponsor and partner of the Kulturkreis Höxter-Corvey gGmbH, and the district of Höxter, also as a partner of this gGmbH , belong to the parties involved .
In a so-called "Letter of Intent", the owners set the goals of working together in the development of the Corvey World Heritage Site to make the World Heritage Site accessible to the public and to develop an appropriate museum presentation for Corvey. To this end, the city applied for funding of 6 million euros from the federal program "National Urban Development Projects" on September 17, 2014; a funding program from which, in particular, World Heritage sites can also be funded. The city agreed with the owners on certain parts of the management plan, which should be implemented with the requested 6 million euros first. Under the project title World Heritage Corvey: Implementation of the first measures of the management plan for the new World Heritage , 1,945,000 euros are to be allocated to measures to increase tourist attractiveness, the largest part of 3,855,000 euros to measures to preserve substance and 200,000 euros to feasibility studies.
For large parts of the management plan, in particular the tourist traffic development and the design of the immediate surroundings and buffer zone, the city was unable to come to an agreement with the owners within the framework of this funding application. For this purpose, new funding opportunities must be acquired after the end of the approval in 2018.
To ensure political transparency, the city of Höxter is setting up a World Heritage Corvey contact group, which is to be kept informed of current events by the owners. In addition, a general planner monitors the implementation of the measures. Together with the monument authorities, the owners are responsible for the planning, project planning and implementation of all measures on their respective property.
Monastery library in the Middle Ages
The monastery library probably received the first manuscripts from the mother monastery of Corbie and from donations from the monastic environment. These included writings by Paschasius Radbertus , who himself had been involved in founding Corvey. He had written a lament for the dead of Corvey Adalhard's first abbot. He dedicated two other works to Abbot Warin; these also belonged to the monastery library. The writings of Ratramnus von Corbie , who maintained a learned correspondence with Abbot Adalhard, may also have been present in Corvey.
The library was greatly expanded at the beginning of the 9th century by Gerold, a court chaplain to Ludwig the Pious . This gave Ludwig his books when he entered the monastery. This includes a commentary on St. Matthew by Hieronymus , which is in Munich today. In particular, the important Corveyer Klosterschule contributed to the expansion of the monastery library with its considerable book inventory. Bishop Ansgar carried or had Corvey books with him on his missionary trips. Even the Hamburg Cathedral Library is said to have been rebuilt with Corvey's help after it was destroyed by an attack by the Danes in 845. Significant monks who worked as writers worked in Corvey around 900. This includes the monk Widukind , who wrote a story of Saxony. An analysis of the sources used shows that Corvey must have had numerous works by ancient and Christian authors.
In the period that followed, new acquisitions were relatively small. A new upswing followed in the reform period around 1100 under Abbot Markward. The Marienmünster monastery received books from Corvey when it was founded. A number of works were also acquired in Corvey under Erkenbert. Ekkehard von Aura dedicated an adaptation of a world chronicle to him. Nevertheless, the library continued to be neglected before it grew again from 1146 under Wibald von Stablo . He collected all of the Cicero's writings accessible to him and put them together in a codex that is now in Berlin. The liber vitae , which was probably written in Helmarshausen, also dates from this period.
After Wibald's death in 1158 the library lost its former importance. More new books were added, but many others were lost. A copy of the Sachsenspiegel expanded the inventory among other things.
At the beginning of the 16th century a famous manuscript was stolen from the monastery library, to Pope Leo X came. This manuscript was probably a copy from the Fulda monastery from the 9th century and passed down the first six books of Tacitus' annals . Pope Leo X. had the text printed in 1515 for the purpose of publication, sent a copy of the pamphlet to Corvey for “compensation” and assured the monastery of a “perpetual indulgence ”. The theft is seen as a stroke of luck, as it led to the widespread use of the hitherto unknown manuscript and saved it from destruction during the Thirty Years' War.
In the further course of the 16th century, the library of the Bursfelde monastery came to Corvey. During this time, a number of scholars also visited the library for study purposes. Hermann Hamelmann, for example, did not give him a good report when he spoke of an excellent library. The library suffered great losses during the Thirty Years War .
New monastery library after the Thirty Years War
Towards the end of the 17th century, at the time of Christoph Bernhard von Galen , a number of large new works were acquired. Prince Abbot Maximilian von Horrich , who is considered the founder of this new baroque monastery library, headed the further expansion of the collection . The bookcases of this library extended over two levels. Maximilian von Horrich created a library with works for the needs of a monastery and a noble convent. The covers of the books were made of light-colored leather or parchment. They had two blue stripes on the spine, the upper one containing the title of the volume and the lower one the location of the book in the library. The appearance changed after the books were delivered in ornate covers.
Abbot Maximilian von Horrich bought numerous books at an auction in Bremen in 1721, as evidenced by the handwritten notes. Some of these works come from the Premonstratensian Monastery of Mons Sion and the Jesuit College in Prague . Other entries show that Abbot Maximilian often bought books for the Corvey monastery library. Entries like: "bought in Höxter", "bought from someone in Holzminden" confirm this.
Acquisitions of books by the subsequent abbots for the Corvey library are also known. The collection comprised over 6000 works by 1793. A copy of the Corveyer library catalog from 1803 provides information about the works.
After the secularization of 1803 the library was closed. Negotiations about her whereabouts lasted until 1812. But parts of it had already disappeared before that. The historian Paul Wigand found only a quarter of the expected books in 1811. A considerable part came to Marburg , Münster and Bonn in 1812 . A remnant of around 2500 volumes remained as the Corveyer parish library in the Dechaneibibliothek von Höxter. These works are now on deposit in the Archbishop's Academic Library in Paderborn .
As the third library in Corvey, the Princely Library is not related to the old monastery libraries. It originated outside of Corvey as a purely secular book collection of the Landgraves of Hesse-Rotenburg . From 1825 to 1833 the collection with around 36,000 volumes was brought from Rotenburg an der Fulda to Corvey. In terms of content, the collection comprised novels, travelogues, biographies, memoirs, dramas and poetry from the 18th and 19th centuries. The library consists of 15 halls with stucco ceilings, 200 bookcases made of different types of wood and French wallpaper.
In 1840, Duke Viktor Amadeus became the first Duke and Prince of Corvey to take over the castle and its library. He hired August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben as a librarian. He came to Corvey in May 1860 and tried to improve the library's bad reputation as a collection of entertainment literature by buying scientific literature, valuable individual works and splendid bindings. The inventory was increased to around 74,000 volumes.
Hoffmann von Fallersleben died on January 19, 1874 in Corvey; with great sympathy from the population, he was buried next to his wife Ida, who had already died on October 27, 1860, in the small cemetery next to the abbey church. The grave is decorated with two simple marble slabs with the names. The memorial on the grave, a bronze portrait bust of the poet on a high stone stele with the line of poetry "How could I forget your", was created on August 26, 1911 on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the "Deutschlandlied" - by Hoffmann von Fallersleben in 1841 the island of Helgoland sealed - revealed. Franz Hoffmann-Fallersleben (1855–1927), the painter and son of the poet, donated this monument.
Between 1985 and 1999 a working group at the University of Paderborn digitized important books. They have been made available for general use by storing them on microfiche and digital media. The catalog has been available online since 1999. The library is looked after by the Corvey Institute for Book and Library History GmbH at the University of Paderborn .
After a restoration project that began in 2007, the last restored rooms in the library have been open to the public since June 2012. The condition of the historical wallpaper was a particular challenge when the rooms were repaired.
The laying of the foundation stone for the monastery church can be set for the year 822. The nave was consecrated in 844 (Building I). The consecration of the cross arms and the choir (building II) followed in 867. The construction of the westwork began in 873 and was consecrated in 885.
In the years 1145 to 1159 the redesign of the westwork with the upper transom took place under Abbot Wibald von Stablo . This includes the demolition of the central tower and the addition of the two facade towers. Between 1585 and 1616 a second major renovation took place under Abbot Theodor von Beringhausen. Work and renovations were carried out on the tower gables and spire helmets .
There is little evidence of the early monastery complex. The boundaries are likely to have largely corresponded to the later baroque monastery complex. According to the description of the development phase in the Translatio sancti Viti , it can be assumed that the complex was built according to a plan. As with the later system, the convent building was probably in the north of the church. Remnants of the cloister were found there. The usual buildings belonging to a monastery are grouped around the cloister. The economic buildings could have been in the south of the complex.
Before the new building in the 17th and 18th centuries, there was also a cemetery, orchards and various scattered buildings such as the abbot's residence, guest and hospital buildings and farm buildings. A contemporary wrote around 1590: “The buildings of this often mentioned monastery are partly old and partly new. And there are quite a few, so that it can also be seen from the outside as a stately city. "
The Thirty Years' War led to the final ruin of the Carolingian monastery church. With the exception of the westwork, the church was demolished in 1665. The new church was built between 1667 and 1671 by the architect Niklas Dentell ; the furnishings were completed by 1675, with the exception of the organ (1681). The church was consecrated in 1681.
The Carolingian monastery buildings were badly damaged during the Thirty Years War. The new building of the abbey began in 1699 under Prince Abbot Florence von dem Feld. By 1715 the east wing was completed under Prince Abbot Maximilian von Horrich. Guard, residential and remise buildings were built under the following prince abbots (Justus Wehmer, Hildesheim). There were also two towers and the wings of the farmyard. The Benedictine Chapel at the top of the choir of the monastery church dates from 1727. The garden house was built in 1741 ( Franz Christoph Nagel , Paderborn). The Marienkapelle in the south of the church can be traced back to the year 1790. In 1794, during the time of the prince-bishopric, the Dreizehnlindenhaus was built outside the actual monastery complex.
In connection with extensive renovations of the church and the New Abbey between 1945 and 1965, excavations took place in the church (1951 and 1953). In the years 1954 to 1961 the wall paintings in the westwork were uncovered, in 1960 remnants of the Carolingian stucco sculpture were found in the vaulted debris of the upper floor square. In 1974/75 an area was excavated in the church under Uwe Lobbedey . In 1977/78 an excavation was carried out in the westwork. A few years later, in 1992, Carolingian masonry was exposed in the westwork with oxide-red brushstrokes, so-called sinopias .
Today's Corvey Castle (formerly a baroque Benedictine monastery and built between 1699 and 1721) covers an area of 80,000 square meters. These include the former baroque abbey buildings, the westwork, the abbey church and the economic building. The exterior is characterized by the juxtaposition of these former baroque abbey buildings and the medieval double tower facade of the westwork. Square towers mark the corner points of the facility.
The path leads over a stone bridge to a gate. On the front of the gate are the figures of two guards, reminiscent of oriental warriors, on the back two mercenaries . To the north behind the gates are the former carriage shed and stables (today the castle restaurant). To the south of the gate system were apartments for servants. The passage is bordered by green areas. A courtyard borders the green areas in the south, which is surrounded on three sides by two-storey utility buildings. The visitor looks at the western front of the former monastery building, which is adjacent to the medieval westwork in the south. The 112 meter long west front is three-story and has 32 window axes. It is structured by two large and three small portals. The passage to the inner courtyard is flanked by the two donor figures Karl and Ludwig.
The north wing was the face of the baroque complex. The 90 meter long front is flanked by two square corner towers. The center is emphasized by a risalit , delimited on the sides by two colossal pilasters with a triangular pediment. A moat ran in front of the northern front , which was filled in in 1836. At the same time, a stone bridge leading into the former abbot's garden was torn down. Today only parts of the moat are left.
The east wing borders the north wing, which is also 112 meters long. It is structured by two portals. The east and west wings are connected by a connecting wing, creating two inner courtyards. The northern inner courtyard is open with its two through portals, while the cemetery is located in the southern inner courtyard. This has no access from the outside, but is only accessible through the cloister that surrounds it.
In the south, the rectangular arrangement of the wings is closed by the church and westwork. To the north and south of the church is the 19th century cemetery.
The Schelpe brook runs through the former monastery grounds, is passed under the west wing of the castle building, where it fed a fish basin for fasting days, and flows into the Weser behind the castle.
The oldest component still preserved today is the westwork, which was placed in front of the former monastery church in the west as an independent component. This Carolingian westwork was built as a three-tower complex in the 9th century with two facade towers and a central square tower. In the 12th century it was converted into a double tower facade. The different construction phases can be recognized by the different masonry. The soaring western front consists of two side towers and a central building with a risalit-like bay window in the middle. There is an inscription plaque from the founding time. The inscription reads: CIVITATEM ISTAM TV CIRCVMDA DNE ET ANGELI TVI CVSTODIANT MVROS EIVS (Lord, surround this city and let your angels be guardians of its walls).
The lower part of the westwork, dating from the Carolingian era , consists of irregular quarry stone masonry. This is interrupted by simple arched windows and light slots. The two-story bell house above the central building stands out clearly from the overall building. The four two-part arched openings in the lower row date from the original period of the building, the six two-part openings in the upper row only from the 12th century. The upper storeys of the towers with their two double-arched twin windows can also be traced back to this time. The roofs of the central building and the towers were built at the end of the 16th century.
There is no longer an atrium as the main entrance to the westwork in the west. It was canceled under Abbot Heinrich von Aschebrock (1617-1624). Today the westwork is flanked by the former monastery building and the utility building.
After crossing three arcades, the entrance hall, dating from the Carolingian era, is reached. This is a five-aisled room with a square floor plan. The shape of the square is resumed in the arrangement of square pillars. Within this quadrum there is another quadrum, which is marked by four columns. The columns are provided with corinthian full-leaf capitals with high, ornamented combatant blocks.
The main room is surrounded by two three-bay, previously flat-roofed aisles . The eastern part of the entrance hall was the connection between the westwork and the church. This used to extend through three floors of the westwork. Around 1600 the room was vaulted.
At the western corners of the entrance hall there are stairs to the two-storey central room of the westwork. This so-called Johannischor is a high room with a square floor plan and a beamed ceiling from the 16th century. It is surrounded by a few side rooms and a gallery. Above that there is a gallery zone with a large arched opening on the west side. A third tower was located above the square, central area in Carolingian times.
Wall paintings made of ornamental ribbons, acanthus tendrils and geometric patterns can be found on all floors . The remnants of painting in the entrance hall are overall less than on the upper floors. In the south aisle, remains were uncovered after 1961. There were Gothic vaults in front of the older walls, so that the partly whitewashed and partly painted wall surfaces were preserved. You can still see an acanthus frieze that surrounded the walls directly under the flat ceiling. The acanthus leaves are inclined on a green background. The pillars were presumably painted in red, as traces of paint were found on several of them. The capitals were also colored. The column shafts show no traces of color.
The upper floor square was most richly adorned with wall paintings. One can distinguish between paintings that were placed directly on the stone and paintings that were applied to the plaster. However, the plaster is largely lost. The pillars were painted flat red, the bases and fighters also painted in color. A rich palette of colors was used, from pink to yellow, red, green and blue. The arcade arches were bordered with red and yellow edge strips. The arch reveals were probably painted with vegetable ornaments.
In the gallery area there is a large amount of paint left over, as the walls remained walled up for several centuries. The sides of the reveal show remains of painted columns on a whitewashed ground. The soffit arches were decorated exclusively with geometric patterns. There are traces of a painted cornice below the openings.
The Carolingian vault with remains of paintings has been preserved in the western room of the upper floor. The ridges of the vault are decorated with acanthus. The only figurative fragments are on the north side of this western area. It is a scene from Greek mythology: Odysseus fights against the sea monster Scylla . Skylla is depicted as a hybrid creature with a human torso and a sea creature's tail. Your head is not preserved. Two dog heads can be seen in the hip area. In her left arm she is holding a human being, whose head and upper body can be recognized. Odysseus stands on the snake's tail in a slightly twisted position and turns to Scylla. His torso and head are not preserved. He is dressed in a loincloth. In his right hand he holds a lance which he stabs a dog in the mouth.
The mythological figures must be interpreted in a Christian context. The early Christian church fathers took over the mythological material of antiquity and transferred it to the Christian worldview. Odysseus embodies the virtuous Christian who, strengthened by his faith, survives the dangers of the sinful world. Scylla and the other sea monsters represent the lure of the sinful world. This reinterpretation of ancient mythology into Christianity is the earliest surviving depiction. Odysseus is similar to the portrayal of St. Michael who gives the devil dragon a fatal blow with a lance.
To the right of this is a fragmentary long-haired bird siren with a harp-like instrument. Other sea creatures and mythical animals are very difficult to see. A reddish frieze runs beneath the above paintings. A look at the western outer wall shows how sculpted pillar warriors continue to be painted as a frieze on the wall.
There is a dolphin rider on the north arcade pillar on the south flank. It takes up the entire area of the vaulted area between the ascending acanthus borders. The naked rider is missing a head and shoulders. It is no longer possible to see how its tail fin ended. The rider supports himself with his left hand on the dolphin's back. He has bent his right arm a little and stretched it out.
In 1960, Corveyer building researchers found figural stucco fragments under the floor of the quadrum during their investigations in the rubble . They could not initially be assigned. It was not until 1992, after the Carolingian masonry over the southeastern intermediate pillar had been exposed, that oxide-red brushstrokes came to light. The complete exposure of the red brush drawing revealed a life-size figure in a tunic and chlamys . These red brush drawings are called sinopias. Further investigations revealed red drawings above the other intermediate pillars.
At the same time, oak wedges were found in the area of the sinopias, which were driven into the joints of the masonry. Discoveries of remains of a gypsum-containing material followed. They pointed out that the Sinopia served as preliminary drawings for stucco figures. The oak wedges in the wall held these life-size stucco figures in place. A fragment contributed to the examination of this assumption, which could be returned to its original place due to a wall joint impression and two wedge holes. The stucco was applied in layers. There are seven layers on the fragments.
The figures are probably two women and four men. The women wore long tunics and scarf-like headscarves. Due to the lack of attributes and inscriptions, no more precise information on the figures can be given.
Former abbey church
The original abbey church was a three-aisled nave with narrow aisles. Apparently there were arcades in the central nave; Details are unclear. In the east, the nave was adjoined by an almost square choir . A small extension with an apse was located to the east of the choir, including a crypt . Shortly after completion and before the construction of the westwork, the transformation of Building I into so-called Building II took place. This included a retracted rectangular choir bay and a semicircular apse in the east. At the same time, an outer crypt with a gallery around the choir apse was built. There were also two longitudinal tunnels extended to the east and a cross-shaped chapel in the east. Cross arms on the choir expanded the overall structure.
The St. Stephanus and Vitus Church, built after 1667, is a hall building in a Gothic style . It consists of three yokes and a drawn-in three-yoke choir with a 5/12 end. In the east there is the Benedictus chapel (two-bay, three-sided end) as a small extension. The church windows are tall two and three-part pointed arch windows. The church has a ribbed vault without a belt arch. The church has a rich interior from the Baroque period; Particularly noteworthy are the high altar and the two side altars from the 17th century, as well as the four prince-bishop's alabaster epitaphs . The organ was built in 1681 by the organ builder Andreas Schneider (Höxter). In the tower of the monastery church hangs a four-part bell , which includes three historical bells.
Interiors of the former abbey
The abbot gallery is located on the first floor of the east wing. There was the former residential wing of the monks. This can still be seen today from the doors that are close to each other. The name is derived from the 65 portraits of the abbots that hang on the wall. Only the last abbots are real portraits, the older ones come from the painter's imagination. They were commissioned by Prince Abbot Florence von dem Felde and completed by the Braunschweig painter Tobias Querfurt by 1714. The last two were added later.
The series of abbots who contributed to the reconstruction of the monastery after the Thirty Years' War begins with Christoph Bernhard von Galen. The monastery church was rebuilt under von Galen and his successor Christoph von Bellinghausen. Florence von dem Felde laid the foundation stone for the reconstruction of the monastery buildings and his successor Maximilian von Horrich was able to move into the completed facility. The last two portraits show the Prince-Bishops Theodor von Brabeck and Ferdinand von Lüninck .
The rooms adjacent to the Abbot Gallery are now partially used for exhibition purposes. You can see furnishings and paraments from Corvey from the Baroque period. These include the Vitus shrine, reliquary busts of Saints Stephen and Vitus that were carried in processions. The offices of Kulturkreis Höxter-Corvey gGmbH and the Ratiborschen administration are located in other rooms in the east wing.
Antlers passage with baroque hall and gallery, organ passage
The antler corridor is the connecting corridor between the living area of the convent in the east and the abbey wing in the west. It is named after the hunting trophies hanging there and was established by the ducal family in the second half of the 19th century. The walls are painted in marble style based on the Biedermeier wallpapers in the Princely Salons and the library. Historicism- style candelabra hang on the walls.
The gallery, the cabinet and the baroque hall are adjacent to the antlers. The library, which was put together after the reconstruction, was housed in the gallery. The room has a gallery on the upper floor. Both floors were equipped with baroque bookcases. Today these rooms are used as exhibition rooms for temporary exhibitions.
The organ passage, which was originally colored, is reached from the antlers. It leads to the upper floor of the westwork and the princely salons. Photographs by Peter Knaup, which he took in Corvey and the surrounding area in 2007/08, hang on the walls.
The Princely Salons are located in the west wing. Since the last Prince-Bishop in Corvey, Ferdinand von Lüninck, still had the right to live until his death, the rooms in the north wing were occupied. Landgrave Viktor Amadeus therefore had his living quarters in the west wing, in the abbots' former picture gallery. The furniture is in the style of late classicism and Biedermeier .
Only in the Blue Salon are the original wallpapers, which were made in French factories. They date from the early 19th century. Popular motifs for the wallpapers were imitations of precious brocade , damask and silk fabrics that were draped and gathered. The wallpaper in the Blue Salon is divided into three parts. Antique motifs can be seen in the lower border : temple servants take turns with fruit baskets. In the main part there are imitations of a blue and white striped silk fabric. This is framed with a final border.
The family used the rooms privately until the early 50s of the 20th century. Today these can be viewed by visitors.
The Kaisersaal is also located in the west wing. It extends over the entire wing and has a second upper row of windows. This large and bright room was the representative room for the abbots. Here he received high-ranking personalities as imperial prince. The Imperial Hall was excluded from the redesign in the 19th century and still presents its baroque furnishings to us today. The name is derived from the furnishings of the room. Twenty portraits of emperors and kings hang on the walls. The founders Charlemagne and Ludwig the Pious can be seen in full figure on the two front sides. You will be surrounded by emperors and kings in medallions who had a special relationship with Corvey.
The ceiling is adorned with a large medallion depicting the "Wedding at Cana", a biblical scene from the New Testament . The theme of hospitality is also shown in the smaller medallions through biblical scenes from the Old Testament : "Joseph entertains his father and brothers", "Abraham entertains three angels", "David and Abigail" and "Rebecca at the well". The painter of these pictures is not known.
The stucco work on the walls and ceiling was probably carried out by the Italian artist Giacomo Perinetti . He had previously worked for Duke Anton Ulrich von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel . Duke Anton Ulrich was friends with Abbot Florence von dem Velde and made the artist available to him. The stucco work in Wolfenbüttel Castle and Corvey show stylistic similarities.
Today the Kaisersaal is used as a concert hall and for other cultural events. These include readings, exhibition openings and the Hoffmann von Fallersleben speech.
The summer hall is located in the north wing and also extends over two floors. However, it is smaller than the imperial hall, but was also used as the reception room of the prince abbot. Behind the summer hall is the baroque staircase through which visitors came to the former monastery. The abbot's former living quarters adjoined the summer hall. Today there is the Princely Library and the summer hall is used as an exhibition room. Annually changing exhibitions on the library holdings are shown there.
The summer hall is equipped with a high quality stucco ceiling. The ceiling painting shows the trial by fire of St. Kunigunde , wife of Emperor Heinrich II . Holy Empress Kunigunde, who has been accused of infidelity, walks with bare feet over glowing coals. It is the acid test before the eyes of the emperor. Emperor Heinrich II had a close connection with Corvey. He held several court days in Corvey.
On the sides of the ceiling, stitch caps form the transition to the wall design. In the lunettes are in blue and white held grisaille -Pictures. These pictures are fantasy landscapes that are attributed to the Corveyer court painter Ferdinand Ludwig Bartscher.
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- Hilde Claussen, Anna Skriver: The Corvey Monastery Church. Volume 2: Wall painting and stucco from the Carolingian era. Philipp von Zabern, Mainz 2007, pp. 355–359.
- Günter Tiggesbäumker: Corvey, witness of a great past. Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich 2008, pp. 41–42.
- Günter Tiggesbäumker: Castle Corvey on old views. Postcards from the Viktor Herzog von Ratibor collection. Huxaria Druckerei, Höxter 2010, p. 81.
- Jutta Ströter-Bender: Corvey: Spaces of art and knowledge. Former Benedictine abbey and baroque palace complex. Paths and projects for art and monument education as well as adult education. Tectum Verlag, Marburg 2010, p. 116.
- Wilfried Henze (ed.): Corvey, a guide through its history and today's facility. Verlag Julius Henze, Höxter 1996, p. 18.
- Günter Tiggesbäumker: Corvey, witness of a great past. Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich 2008, p. 45.
- Corvey's Wiktionary entry for earlier name variants .
- All of the measures listed below are literally translated from the management plan.