Ebstorf martyrs

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The Ebstorfer martyrs found the February 2 880 martyrdom . In the battle of the Saxon army against the pagan Normans near Ebekestorpe, today's Ebstorf in the Lüneburg Heath , several counts , bishops , dukes and nobles were killed. The so-called Norman Battle ended with a considerable defeat for the Saxon army.

The martyrs

In the Fulda annals , the names of two bishops, a duke, twelve counts and 18 royal servants are mentioned. For the Ebstorf martyrs, the common ecclesiastical day of remembrance was set for February 2nd. The following people known by name belong to the Ebstorf martyrs, in addition hundreds of ordinary soldiers and warriors died:


According to tradition, the men who died for the faith were buried in three places on the battlefield. They were venerated by the people as martyrs and saints , but were later forgotten. The graves were found miraculously, the bones were raised and brought to the final resting place in 1150 in the monastery Ebstorf built by the first Count Volrad I. von Dannenberg .

Only later stories highlighted Ebstorf as the place of favor. Between 1200 and 1243 several graves were discovered again, the location of which was entered on the Ebstorf world map around 1300 . Around 1380 the legend about the graves of the martyrs ended with the assertion that the known victims of the battle were buried in Ebstorf. From this it was deduced that the terrible massacre must also have taken place in Ebstorf. And so it was said: “The pious deception helped the place to become famous for pilgrimages, Ebstorf Monastery experienced a cultural and economic boom, of which the famous Ebstorf world map, the largest and most content-rich world map of the Middle Ages (created in the middle of the 13th century or in the first half of the 14th century), provides information ”.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Ebstorf Monastery. View of the world in the Middle Ages. NDR.de
  2. The 'martyr graves' on the Ebstorf world map; The Ebstorf monastery legend. How a pious legend was relocated.