Fürstenfeld Monastery

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Fürstenfeld Monastery
Side view of the monastery
Side view of the monastery
location GermanyGermany Germany
Lies in the diocese Archdiocese of Munich and Freising
Coordinates: 48 ° 10 '10.4 "  N , 11 ° 14' 58.1"  E Coordinates: 48 ° 10 '10.4 "  N , 11 ° 14' 58.1"  E
Serial number
according to Janauschek
Patronage St. Mary
founding year 1263
Year of dissolution /
Mother monastery Aldersbach Monastery
Primary Abbey Morimond Monastery

Daughter monasteries

Waldsassen Abbey

The Fürstenfeld Monastery is a former Cistercian abbey in Fürstenfeldbruck in Bavaria in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising .

It is located about 25 kilometers west of the state capital Munich . The former monastery was one of the former house monasteries of the Wittelsbach family . The monastery church of St. Maria is considered a major work of the southern German late baroque . Immediately to the south above the monastery, on a spur of an Ice Age moraine, is the high medieval castle of Engelsberg . This castle was probably a Welf ministerial seat , which was later bought and destroyed by the monastery.


Copper engraving by Michael Wening in Topographia Bavariae around 1700

The monastery was founded in 1263 by Duke Ludwig II, the Strict after two temporary attempts at founding it in Thal near Großhöhenrain and Olching, as atonement for the unlawful execution of his first wife Maria von Brabant . The son of Ludwig II from third marriage, Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian , endowed the monastery with numerous privileges after it had intercepted the messengers of Ludwig's Habsburg throne rival Friedrich the Fair before the battle of Mühldorf on September 28, 1322 , making the monastery to Bavarian victory and the arrest of Friedrich had contributed. In 1347 the emperor died not far from the monastery on a bear hunt in Puch .

Under the chairmanship of the Abbot von Citeaux , the foundations for reforms of the order were worked out in Fürstenfeld in 1595, which were to apply until the 18th century. During the Thirty Years War (1632/1633) the monastery was sacked by the troops of King Gustav Adolf of Sweden , and the convent fled to Munich, among other places. There two monks were held hostages by the Swedish king. From 1640 the monastery went uphill again. Under Abbot Martin Dallmayr, the number of monks doubled, the discipline of the order was renewed and the economic basis for the new baroque building was created.

In 1691 the foundation stone of the baroque monastery complex was laid. The Munich court architect Giovanni Antonio Viscardi was commissioned with the execution .

Church of the Assumption of Mary

St. Maria Monastery Church
High altar

Main article: St. Maria Himmelfahrt (Fürstenfeldbruck)

After Viscardi's death in 1713, Johann Georg Ettenhofer took care of the construction in the area of ​​the church, which could only really start after the War of the Spanish Succession . It is unclear whether he introduced some changes to Viscardi's plans or whether these had been determined by Viscardi himself. The choir was completed in 1723 , the church was consecrated in 1741, and the rest of the furnishings dragged on until around 1780.

Numerous top artists were involved in the furnishing, such as Cosmas Damian Asam , who painted the ceiling frescoes, and the brothers Jacopo and Francesco Appiani . The middle side altars, probably also the design for the high altar, were designed by Egid Quirin Asam . The Fürstenfeld monastery church follows the type of the south German wall pillar church in the succession of St. Michael in Munich and the study church of the Assumption in Dillingen adDonau. The peculiarity are the circumferential galleries above the main beam (which in the case of local builders is mostly limited to the pier head, but in this case, as is usual with Italian masters, runs through). There are also suspended galleries above the parapet at the height of the vaults. The height and width of the church interior are impressive and appear very uniform despite the long construction and furnishing period.


Fürstenfeld Monastery - Panorama
Passage to the monastery courtyard

In the convent building of the monastery, which is often referred to as the "Bavarian Escorial", a sequence of rooms with important frescoes by Hans Georg Asam and stucco by Pietro Francesco Appiani was created at the behest of Elector Maximilian II Emanuel . The almost 9 m high, 12 m wide and 27.5 m long Churfürstensaal in the west wing, which extends over two floors, with frescoes by Hans Georg Asam and a stucco decoration by Giovanni Nicolò Perti from around 1696, was built in 1860 by removing the ceiling frescos and the ceiling stucco impaired and destroyed by inserting a false ceiling in the spatial structure; between 2007 and 2010 the reconstruction took place, but without the ceiling.

In 1803, the Fürstenfeld monastery became private property due to general secularization . The Bohemian cloth manufacturer Ignaz Leitenberger became the new owner . The natural scientist Karl von Moll leased some rooms to house his collections. The residents of Bruck saved the church from being demolished. In 1816 the monastery church became the property of the Bavarian King Maximilian I and from then on served as the country church of the royal house.

Prisoner of war cemetery at the Fürstenfeld monastery

In 1817 the entire monastery was bought back by the Bavarian field marshal Carl Philipp von Wrede , and a year later an institution for the disabled was opened in the former convent buildings. In 1828 a prayer hall for Protestants was set up in the former chapter house. In 1866 the monastery building was partially destroyed by a fire in the wing south of the monastery church, which was used as a hospital at that time. Between 1848 and 1921 the monastery building was used for military purposes (e.g. location of various infantry and cavalry departments and as a war hospital for German soldiers and foreign prisoners of war during and after the First World War). The cemetery of the military facility for invalids at the monastery was reactivated in 1918 to bury the deceased prisoners of war. After the Second World War, " displaced persons " who had died were put to bed there, so that today 274 victims of war and tyranny rest on the war grave site "POW Cemetery at the Fürstenfeld Monastery".

After 1918 the economic wing became the property of the Wittelsbach Compensation Fund, which leased it to Ettal Abbey in 1923 . From 1921 the monastery buildings were used as a state student residence. From 1924 to 1975 various facilities of the police institutions, such as the police main, protection police, and rural police schools were at home in the monastery, from 1975 the police department of the Bavarian civil service college (today the university for public administration and justice in Bavaria ). In 1979 the city of Fürstenfeldbruck acquired the monastery's economic wing and began renovations in 1987. In 1991 the first part of today's Museum Fürstenfeldbruck opened and by 2001 the buildings were expanded into a new cultural center for the citizens of the Fürstenfeldbruck district.

Fürstenfeld Monastery at sunset - spherical aerial panorama from 21 individual images

List of Abbots


  1. 1261-1270 Anselm
  2. 1270-1274 Albert
  3. 1274-1278 Eberhard
  4. 1278–1284 Hermann
  5. 1284-1314 Volkmar
  6. 1314–1324 Heinrich
  7. 1324-1344 Werner
  8. 1344–1362 Johann I. Vischhauser
  9. 1362-1387 Conrad
  10. 1387-1403 Otto
  11. 1403–1413 Johann II. Min
  12. 1413-1432 John III. Fox
  13. 1432-1451 Andreas, received the pontificals in 1441
  14. 1451-1454 Paul Herzmann
  15. 1454-1457 Michael I. Pistorius
  16. 1457-1467 Ulrich
  17. 1467-1480 Jodok
  18. 1480–1496 Leonhard I. Eggenhofer (Eggendorfer), died September 22, 1496
  19. 1496–1502 Abbot Michael II, resigned 1502, died May 11, 1503
  20. 1502–1505 Abbot Peter (Petrus), resigned 1505, died December 2, 1511
  21. 1505–1513 Abbot John IV. Scharb, died August 27, 1513
  22. 1513–1522 Abbot Kaspar (Casparus) Harder, died March 26, 1522
  23. 1522–1531 Abbot Georg I. Menhard, was forced to resign due to an intrigue in 1531, died December 30, 1538
  24. 1539–1547 Johannes V. Albrecht Pistor, initially 1531–1538 as administrator , since 1539 as abbot, forced to resign from office in 1547, formal resignation only in 1552, died February 14, 1554
1547–1552 Michael Kain as administrator, deposed on January 13, 1552 due to financial irregularities and captured on the orders of the Duke of Bavaria and imprisoned in Aldersbach monastery, died 1563.
1552–1555 Stephan Dorfpeck as secular administrator since May 11, 1552, died July 10, 1561 in Abensberg
  1. 1556–1565 Abbot Leonhard II. (Lienhard) Paumann (Baumann), initially 1555–1556 as administrator, since April 16, 1556 as the 25th abbot of Fürstenfeld, died December 15, 1565. Took from June 27 to July 2 In 1558 he took part in the Synod in Glatz , at which the confession of the clergy present was to be recorded with an extensive catalog of questions on behalf of the Glatzer pledgee Ernst von Bayern . Together with Abbot Johannes Cressavicus , he wrote the report on the state of faith of the clergy in the Glatzer deanery.
  2. 1566–1595 Abbot Leonhard III. Treuttwein, died July 7, 1595
  3. 1595–1610 Abbot Johann (es) IV. Puel, died May 26, 1610
  4. 1610–1623 Abbot Sebastian Thoma, died November 3, 1623
  5. 1624–1632 Abbot Leonhard (us) IV. Lechner, died July 24, 1632.
  6. 1633–1640 Abbot Georg (ius) II. Echter (Aechter), resigned on February 4, 1640, died September 13, 1641
  7. 1640–1690 Abbot Martin Dallmayr (Dallmayer), died April 22, 1690
  8. 1690–1705 Abbot Balduin Helm, resigned May 29, 1705, died May 8, 1720
  9. 1705–1714 Abbot Casimir Kramer, died June 18, 1714
  10. 1714–1734 Abbot Liebhard (us) Kellerer, died September 4, 1734
  11. 1734–1744 Abbot Konstantin Haut, died December 26, 1744
  12. 1745–1761 Abbot Alexander Pellhammer, died October 25, 1761
  13. 1761–1779 Martin (us) II. Hazi, died 11/12. May 1779
  14. 1779–1796 Abbot Tezelin (Tecelin) Kazmayr (Katzmair), resigned July 16, 1796, died November 28, 1798
  15. 1796–1803 Abbot Gerhard Führer , the last abbot of Fürstenfeld, experienced repeal on March 18, 1803 and secularization, died April 4, 1820

Event forum Fürstenfeld

Stadtsaal in the event forum ⊙

The Fürstenfeld event forum, inaugurated in autumn 2001, is located in the historical area of ​​the monastery . After the city of Fürstenfeldbruck acquired the economic building of the Cistercian abbey in 1979, it then took over 20 years before the idea of ​​a supraregional leisure and cultural center could be realized. In addition to and in structural connection with the restored economic buildings, a modern city hall was built. Today all kinds of events take place in the entire complex, such as advanced training seminars, conferences, theater performances, concerts, cabaret, product presentations and seasonal events (e.g. Easter and Christmas markets).

Literature (selection)

  • Peter Pfister (author), Wolf-Christian von der Mülbe (photos): The Cistercian monastery Fürstenfeld. 2., completely reworked. Edition. Regensburg 1998, ISBN 3-7954-1159-9 .
  • Peter Pfister (ed.), Alberich Martin Altermatt (collaboration), among others: Monastery leaders of all Cistercian monasteries in German-speaking countries. 2nd Edition. Strasbourg / Munich 1998, ISBN 3-931820-57-2 .
  • Birgitta Klemenz: The Cistercian monastery Fürstenfeld at the time of Abbot Martin Dallmayr 1640–1690. Dissertation .
  • Karl Ad. Röckl: Description of Fürstenfeld. Munich 1840.
  • Werner Schiedermair: Fürstenfeld Monastery. 2nd Edition. Josef Fink Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-89870-324-6 . in particular: Peter Pfister: The functions of an abbot and the order of the Fürstenfeld abbots. P. 289ff.

Web links

Commons : Fürstenfeld Monastery  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Markus T. Huber: The appropriation of Ludwig of Bavaria by posterity. Memoria and representation using the example of Munich and the Fürstenfeld Abbey. In: Hubertus Seibert (ed.): Ludwig the Bavarian (1314-1347). Empire and rule in transition. Regensburg 2014, p. 508.
  2. Werner Schiedermair (ed.): The Churfürstensaal in the former Cistercian monastery Fürstenfeld, Kunstverlag Josef Fink, Lindenberg im Allgäu 2012, ISBN 978-3-89870-746-6
  3. Fürstenfeldbruck history and commemorative plaque, "Prisoner of War Cemetery". Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge eV, accessed on May 20, 2020 .
  4. Michael Hartig: Die Oberbayerischen Stifts , Volume I: The Benedictine, Cistercian and Augustinian canons . Publisher vorm. G. J. Manz, Munich 1935, DNB 560552157 , p. 120.
  5. Hans Kammermayer: Duke Ernst of Bavaria (1500-1560). Spiritual prince in the bishopric of Passau, archbishopric Salzburg and the county of Glatz (series of publications on Bavarian history 167), Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-406-10782-5 , p. 382f.