Bebenhausen Monastery

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Bebenhausen Cistercian Abbey
Inside the monastery walls
Inside the monastery walls
location Germany
Lies in the diocese once Constance, today Rottenburg-Stuttgart
Coordinates: 48 ° 33 '40.9 "  N , 9 ° 3' 38.6"  E Coordinates: 48 ° 33 '40.9 "  N , 9 ° 3' 38.6"  E
Serial number
according to Janauschek
Patronage Maria
founding year 1190
Year of dissolution /
Mother monastery Schoenau Monastery

Daughter monasteries

Güterstein Monastery (1226)

Bebenhausen monastery church

The Bebenhausen monastery was a Cistercian abbey in Bebenhausen (today part of Tübingen , Baden-Württemberg ). After the Reformation (in Württemberg in 1534) the monastery buildings served as a monastery school, hunting lodge for the kings of Württemberg and as the seat of the state parliament of the state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern .

History of the Cistercian monastery


(Monastery) Bebenhausen is located north of Tübingen, on the southern slope of the Bromberg, on a plateau that has been artificially expanded since the Middle Ages , above the valley floor of two streams flowing there, on a trunk road from the Alps to the Rhine Valley , on the edge of the Schönbuch , the great medieval forest . The basic word of the place name “-hausen” may refer to the Alemanni and thus to the 8th / 9th. Go back to the century, the qualifier "Bebo-" on a man of this name who, according to legendary tradition, was supposed to have been a duke , monk or hermit depending on who was. Archaeological traces, e.g. B. a cemetery, but in fact lead back to the early Middle Ages . The existence of a parish church as a village church also refers to the pre-monastic period. Perhaps Bebenhausen came to the Speyr Bishop's Church in 1046 or 1057 through a royal donation . In addition, a manor of the Tübingen Count Palatine was discovered on the southern slope of the Bromberg and thus in an exposed location , which was the starting point of the Bebenhausen monastery.

Romanesque parlatorium from the 1st half of the 13th century

The foundation of the monastery

An exchange of goods with the Speyer diocese was now a prerequisite for the monastery near the village of Bebenhausen, which was probably founded in 1183 by Count Palatine Rudolf I of Tübingen (1182–1219) "for the purpose of his soul's salvation". Rudolf donated the Martinskirche in Meimsheim to the diocese of Speyer and received the land necessary for the founding of the monastery. The donation was certified in 1188 by the Bishop of Speyer and on June 29, 1193 by Emperor Heinrich VI. approved. The construction of the monastery in the 1180s did not proceed as quickly as a document from the Swabian Duke Friedrich VI. (1167–1191) from 1187 proves in which he gave the religious order the right to log in the Reichswald Schönbuch a. a. for building construction. According to Bebenhausen's conception as a burial place for the Palatine family , the monastery was initially settled by Premonstratensian canons, who perhaps came from Marchtal ( Obermarchtal near Ehingen).

The Cistercians in Bebenhausen

Tracery windows in Bebenhausen

In addition to the Premonstratensians, the Cistercians were one of the new ecclesiastical orders that emerged as part of the Gregorian church reform and investiture dispute (1075–1122). Named after the Burgundian Cîteaux (1098), the Cistercians, who had linked their Carta caritatis with the Benedictine Rule , successfully spread across almost all of Europe and had their most important representative in Bernhard von Clairvaux († 1153). In Germany, too, a network of Cistercians had formed since 1123 . The order included the close relationships between mother and daughter monasteries, the annual general chapter of all Cistercian abbots supervised the order and was the administrator of the order's norms, promoter and protector of the Cistercians.

Before 1189/1190 the Premonstratensians left Bebenhausen, and initially twelve Cistercian monks from the Schönau monastery (near Heidelberg ) under the founding Abbot Diepold settled there after the request of Count Palatine Rudolf in Cîteaux was positively answered by a commission examining the site and the General Chapter. Bebenhausen belonged to the filiation of the mother abbey Clairvaux via Schönau and Eberbach . It was only under the Cistercians that the actual construction and expansion of the monastery and monastery buildings began. In any case, mediaeval sources at the beginning of the 13th century report a tense economic situation that had gripped the monastery despite extensive donations and donations of goods. However, at the end of the 13th century the abbey's monastic community numbered up to 80 monks and 130 conversers (lay brothers) and became the richest monastery in Württemberg in the course of the late Middle Ages.

The monastic manor

The monastery in Bebenhausen in its general view
Bebenhausen Monastery on October 3, 1854 - watercolor by General Eduard von Kallee

If manorial rule is defined as an economic system that secured the landlord - here: the monastery - income and thereby the existence of monks and monasteries, then the monastic community in Bebenhausen had an extensive economic basis of goods and rights, from the Zabergäu to the Schönbuch to the Swabian Alb were enough. According to a "Cistercian autarky", the land was owned - at least until the 14th century - operated independently , i. H. the manor consisted of grangies under the direction of monks who were supported by lay brothers as part of an efficient monastery economy. There were grangia who specialized in arable farming alongside those who specialized in cattle breeding. Fish ponds and fishing industry played an important role, as did forest management, viticulture and horticulture, which were important for the supply of the monasteries. The interweaving of the abbey with the urban economy should also be noted. The Bebenhausen monk community owned a total of six urban monastery courtyards. a. in Ulm . The monastery operated an intensive wine trade via Ulm, and the monastery courtyards in the cities became administrative focal points within the manor.

In the course of the late Middle Ages, the manorial rule developed, with the abandonment of the Grangienwirtschaft, into a rented manor with interest drawn from the leasing of goods.

In addition to the agricultural sector, the commercial sector played a major role in the Cistercian monastery economy. Workshops in the monastery area served handicraft activities of processing raw materials, clothes, farm implements and household items were made. The leather processing achieved a high quality, there was the monastery brickwork, a construction hut, the forge. The hydropower was used extensively. In Bebenhausen, for example, a complex of watermills has been preserved below the enclosure; a mill canal brings the water in from the west.

Bebenhausen and Württemberg

Bebenhausen Monastery

As a Cistercian monastery, according to the high medieval libertas ecclesie , Bebenhausen did not have a bailiff, so - theoretically - it was deprived of the umbrella of a powerful ruler. The protection of many Cistercian monasteries was exercised by the (Staufer) king, for Bebenhausen it was the Tübingen Count Palatine who, as the donor family, owned the umbrella over the monastery. In the late Middle Ages, protection turned into (protective) rule. Bebenhausen, too, found itself integrated into the rulership of the Palatine, which in turn was sold or pledged to the Counts of Württemberg in 1342 . The Cisterce was also affected, but Bebenhausen was temporarily triggered by Emperor Charles IV (1347-1378) in 1361 . In the long run, however, imperial ties and the relative imperial immediacy of the monastery gave way to the sovereignty of the Württemberg counts and dukes. In the course of just the second half of the 15th century fostered the Landsässigkeit the Zisterze up to the country estates of . Bebenhausen became a Wuerttemberg prelate monastery , belonged to the estates within the duchy and was represented in the Wuerttemberg state parliaments since 1498. When, after a Habsburg interlude (1519–1534), Duke Ulrich I of Württemberg (1498–1550) succeeded in recapturing his territory, he introduced the Reformation in his prelate monasteries (1534). Bebenhausen was also affected, the Catholic monastery period was coming to an end after the Cisterce had already suffered damage during the Peasants' War in 1525.

Modern use

Monastery and convent school

After the Reformation was introduced in Bebenhausen, the monks who clung to the old faith - around half of 36 brothers - went to the Stams Abbey in Tyrol or the Tennenbach Abbey in Breisgau . Catholic monks were supposed to return to Bebenhausen twice: during the Augsburg interim (1548) under Abbot Sebastian Lutz (1547–1560), who was the last Catholic abbot and who was succeeded by Eberhard Bidembach, the first Protestant abbot, and during the Thirty Years' War ( 1618–1648) from 1629 to 1632 and from 1634. After the Peace of Westphalia (1648) it was over with the Catholic monastery in Bebenhausen. As early as 1556, as in twelve other male monasteries in Württemberg, a Protestant monastery school had been established. Numerous prominent personalities attended these schools, in Bebenhausen for example the philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling . The school was merged with the monastery school in Maulbronn in 1807 . The Protestant monastery was secularized in 1806.


Bebenhausen hunting lodge around 1900

The lords of Württemberg used the complex as a hunting lodge. The favorable location in Schönbuch , an extensive forest and hunting area , spoke in favor of this use . The monarchs initially lived in the abbey. From 1864 the monastery buildings east of the enclosure were used as a castle. When King Wilhelm II of Württemberg abdicated in November 1918, he and Queen Charlotte initially retired from the unrest in Stuttgart to Bebenhausen Castle. After his death in October 1921, the funeral procession of the former king was led around the royal seat of Stuttgart to Ludwigsburg, according to his wishes. Duchess Charlotte, the former queen, moved from Friedrichshafen Palace to Bebenhausen Palace on December 1, 1921, for which the state had granted her lifelong right of residence, and lived there until her death on July 16, 1946.

Diana Festival (1812)

→ Main article: Festival of Dianas (1812)

Festinjagen near Bebenhausen, Johann Baptist Seele , 1813/14, oil on canvas, 231 × 331 cm, Ludwigsburg Palace Administration.

On November 9, 1812, King Friedrich I organized a particularly splendid hunting festival near the castle, in Goldersbachstal . The “Dianenfest”, named after the Roman goddess Diana , was prepared over a period of six weeks. From all over the kingdom subjects from the rural communities were obliged to the so-called hunting fron . They had to do services in support of the festivity, which could include driving wild animals in enclosures. King Friedrich had banned hunting for large game populations. Up until 1806, the rural communities were still able to hire hunters to shoot game, which meant that it could no longer cause damage to the fields. After 1806, however, royal ordinances not only prohibited the use of hunters. The state also stepped up action against poaching and hunting traps among the population. The "passion for hunting Friedrichs" (Paul Sauer) thus contributed to the unpopularity of the king. In addition, the festival took place at a politically and financially questionable time: Württemberg soldiers accompanied Napoleon's campaign to Moscow . Of the 16,000 men, only 134 were supposed to return from Russia. Nevertheless, Friedrich spent almost a million guilders on the Dianenfest. The court architect Nikolaus Friedrich von Thouret designed an opulent festival architecture, which also included a round temple with a dome. The actual hunting spectacle was captured in a painting by the Württemberg court painter Johann Baptist Seele ( see picture on the right ), which is exhibited today in the Ludwigsburg residence. The wildlife was driven down a slope by drivers and 350 dogs. There the game ended up in an arena. The king and his court entourage opened fire on the animals from hunting stalls. Invited guests watched the action behind a wall. Shortly before noon, the court society inspected the arena with the lifeless animal bodies. Then the court went to the hunting temple built by Thouret for a banquet. Finally, one last hunt was organized: the hunting dogs had to drive pigs to the royal entourage in front of the shotgun, with King Friedrich shooting 40 bristle animals. A total of 823 animals and a forester lost their lives at the Dianenfest. Several drivers suffered injuries.


After the Second World War , the state parliament and state constitution of the state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern (until 1952) were established in Bebenhausen . Parts of the abbey complex were used as an archive, depot and state parliament for Württemberg-Hohenzollern .

Todays use

Bebenhausen Monastery and Castle are open for tours. The complex is one of the state's own monuments and is looked after by the State Palaces and Gardens of Baden-Württemberg . Today the monastery church is the house of worship of the small quake houses evangelical community in the church district of Tübingen . Its special building feature is the filigree roof turret over the crossing . It is the landmark of the monastery that can be seen from afar and, with its bell that can still be operated by hand, can be heard from afar. The splendid window with tracery in the form of a standing quatrefoil with an inserted rosette was - in violation of the simplicity dictates of the Cistercians - originally decorated with Gothic stained glass (around 1320/1335). Of these, ornamental remains and coats of arms disks (Count Palatine of Tübingen, Cistercian Order, Württemberg and Mömpelgard) are still preserved in the tracery and supplemented by neo-Gothic style, the main part (for example the apostle disks) in the best artistic quality from Esslingen workshops went into the private property of the House of Württemberg and is now located now in Altshausen Castle.

The Bebenhausen monastery is now a destination for hikers, tourists and those interested in culture. Religiously motivated visitors are rather rare, the monastery is no longer a place of pilgrimage. Parts of the monastery complex are used as farm buildings for the forestry operations in Schönbuch. Photographers like to use the monastery complex as a backdrop for wedding pictures.

The monastery complex

Bebenhausen Monastery (architectural model)
Interior of the monastery church
Vaulted ceiling of the summer refectory
Graffiti of former pupils of the convent school on a wall of the cloister
Former monks cell in the dormitory

A partially triple wall belt (including the preserved towers and gates) surrounds the monastery complex, which still reflects the spirit of the Cistercian room layout. This applies particularly to the area of ​​the enclosure around the late Gothic cloister with church, dorment (bedroom), refectory (dining room), chapter room , parlatorium and brother hall .

The consecration of the late Romanesque three-aisled monastery church, of which only the eastern part with transept , crossing tower from 1409 and presbytery is still standing, dates back to 1228, so that the church and the adjoining east wing with the monks' common rooms were probably completed at that time. The western wing of the lay brothers was completed in the 13th century. The famous Gothic summer refectory (1335) with its roof turret was connected to the south wing with the kitchen .

The abbot's house originally dates from 1338/1339. To the east of the enclosure, a mansion and a new infirmary were built in the course of the 15th century , there were also late Gothic changes to the church, and a heated (winter) refectory was also built by 1513. The Reformation ended the building activity, the church was used as a quarry around 1537 and the nave was demolished.

After the secularization in 1806, the abbot's house became a hunting lodge . Between 1850 and 1987 there were repeated restoration and restoration work, including an extensive restoration from 1864–1884 by the later Ulm cathedral builder August von Beyer . The mediaeval monastery has largely been preserved to this day.

Regents and officials

List of the abbots of the Cistercian monastery Bebenhausen

  • Diepold (1190-1196)
  • Enzmann
  • Erkinbert
  • Walther (-1211)
  • Ludwig (1211)
  • Bruno (1216)
  • Berthold I. (-1223)
  • Konrad (1225, 1228)
  • Hermann (approx. 1230)
  • Peter (approx. 1240/43)
  • Rudolf (1243–)
  • Berthold II (1245, 1262)
  • Eberhard from Reutlingen (1266, 1279)
  • Friedrich (1281, –1299)
  • Lupold from Esslingen (1299-1300)
  • Friedrich (2nd time) (1300–1303)
  • Ulrich from Esslingen (1303-1320)
  • Konrad von Lustnau (1320–1353)
  • Heinrich from Rottenburg am Neckar (1353 – approx. 1356)
  • Werner von Gomaringen (approx. 1356-1393)
  • Peter von Gomaringen (1393–1412)
  • Heinrich von Hailfingen (1412–1432)
  • Reinhard von Höfingen (1432–1456)
  • John from ceiling Pfronn (1456–1460)
  • Werner Glüttenhart from Tübingen (1461–1471)
  • Bernhard Rockenb (a) uch from Magstadt (1471–1493)
  • Johann von Fridingen (1493–1534)
  • Reformation & Augsburg Interim
  • Sebastian Lutz called Hebenstreit from Tübingen (1547–1561)
  • Thirty Years' War
  • Joachim Müller from Pfullendorf (1630–1649)

Evangelical abbots of the monastery school

Former students


  • State archive administration Baden-Württemberg in connection with the district of Tübingen (Ed.): The district of Tübingen. Official district description. The urban and rural districts in Baden-Württemberg. Volume II, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1972, ISBN 3-17-258321-X , p. 25.
  • Eckart Hannmann, Klaus Scholkmann: Bebenhausen as a complete system. In: Preservation of monuments in Baden-Württemberg. 4th year, No. 1, 1975, pp. 15-21. (PDF)
  • Hans Jänichen, Gerhard Kittelberger (arrangement): Bebenhausen. In: Max Miller , Gerhard Taddey (Hrsg.): Handbook of the historical sites of Germany . Volume 6: Baden-Württemberg (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 276). 2nd, improved and enlarged edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-520-27602-X , p. 67ff.
  • Jürgen Sydow (arr.): The Cistercian Abbey of Bebenhausen. (= Germania sacra, NF 16, The Dioceses of the Ecclesiastical Province of Mainz, The Diocese of Constance. Volume 2). de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1984, ISBN 3-11-009647-1 .
  • Dieter Stievermann: State rule and monasteries in late medieval Württemberg . Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1989, ISBN 3-7995-4113-6 .
  • Mathias Köhler: The building and art history of the former Cistercian monastery Bebenhausen near Tübingen. The exam area. (= Publications of the Commission for Historical Regional Studies in Baden-Württemberg. Series B: Research. Volume 124). Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-17-011965-6 .
  • Jürgen Michler: Bebenhausen, 1335: The monumental splendid window in the choir of the monastery church. Evidence of a cultural and historical upheaval ; in: Monument Preservation in Baden-Württemberg. News bulletin of the State Monuments Office, No. 1/1997, Stuttgart 1997, page 11
  • Ursula Schwitalla, Wilfried Setzler (ed.): The Cistercians in Bebenhausen. University City of Tübingen Cultural Office, Tübingen 1998, ISBN 3-910090-28-1 .
  • Barbara Scholkmann, Sönke Lorenz (Ed.): From Cîteaux to Bebenhausen. World and work of the Cistercians. (= Publications of the Alemannic Institute. No. 67). Attempto, Tübingen 2000, ISBN 3-89308-305-7 .
  • Immo Eberl: The Cistercians. History of a European Order. Thorbecke, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-7995-0103-7 .
  • Robert Zagolla: The " Quake House Annals". Text-critical investigation and new edition , DRW-Verlag, Leinfelden-Echterdingen 2002 (Tübingen building blocks for regional history, volume 2), ISBN 3-87181-702-3 .
  • Mathias Köhler, Rainer Y, Carla Fandrey: Bebenhausen Monastery and Castle. Deutscher Kunstverlag Munich, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-422-03113-8 .
  • Stefan Gerlach: A building of European standing? - On the architectural and historical significance of the summer refectory in Bebenhausen. In: Yearbook of the State Art Collections in Baden-Württemberg. 45, 2008, pp. 7-29.
  • Wolfgang Wille: The Eberhard Werkmann Pitanz Foundation from 1309 for the Bebenhausen monastery. In: Sönke Lorenz, Volker [Karl] Schäfer (ed.): Tubingensia. Impulses for the city and university history. Festschrift for Wilfried Setzler on his 65th birthday. (= Tübingen building blocks for regional history. Volume 10). in connection with the Institute for Historical Regional Studies and Historical Auxiliary Sciences at the University of Tübingen, Thorbecke, Ostfildern 2008, ISBN 978-3-7995-5510-4 , pp. 67–90.
  • Klaus Gereon Beuckers, Patricia Peschel (eds.): Bebenhausen Monastery. New research. Conference of the State Palaces of Baden-Württemberg and the Art History Institute of the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel on July 30th and 31st, 2011 in the Bebenhausen Monastery. (= Scientific contributions from the State Palaces and Gardens of Baden-Württemberg. Volume 1). Offizin Scheufele, Stuttgart 2011, ISBN 978-3-00-036472-3 .
  • Wolfgang Wille (arrangement): Das Bebenhäuser Urbar von 1356 , Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2015 (Publications of the Commission for Historical Regional Studies in Baden-Württemberg, Series A, Volume 47), ISBN 978-3-17-019222-5 .
  • Protestant monasteries in Württemberg ; Magazine in the “Traces” series; ed. Ev Regional Church in Württemberg, Ev. Oberkirchenrat; Stuttgart 2018, page 38

Web links

Commons : Bebenhausen Monastery  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Wirtemberg document book . Volume II, No. 449. Stuttgart 1858, p. 248 f. ( Digitized version , online edition )
  2. ^ Hans Haug: In the shadow of the monastery, the village of Bebenhausen; an exception among the villages of Württemberg . 1st edition. Silberburg-Verlag, Tübingen 2013, ISBN 978-3-8425-1265-8 , p. 38 .
  3. Hans Wilhelm Eckardt: Manorial hunting, rural hardship and bourgeois criticism: zur Geschichte d. princely u. noble hunting privileges, mainly in the southwest of Germany. Raum , Vandenhoeck, Göttingen 1976, p. 119.
  4. Paul Sauer: The Swabian Tsar. Friedrich - Württemberg's first king , DVA, Stuttgart 1984, pp. 385-387.
  5. Hans Wilhelm Eckardt: Manorial hunting, rural hardship and bourgeois criticism: zur Geschichte d. princely u. noble hunting privileges, mainly in the southwest of Germany. Raum , Vandenhoeck, Göttingen 1976, pp. 55-56.
  8. ^ Database building research of the state monument preservation
  9. ^ Website of the Evangelical Church Community of Bebenhausen
  10. Restoration work , in the Centralblatt der Bauverwaltung. No. 41, October 11, 1884, p. 425, accessed January 1, 2013.