Liebenau Monastery

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Dominican convent Liebenau
location Germany
Coordinates: 49 ° 38 '28.4 "  N , 8 ° 20' 53.3"  E Coordinates: 49 ° 38 '28.4 "  N , 8 ° 20' 53.3"  E
founding year 1299
Year of dissolution /

The Liebenau Monastery was a Dominican convent that was originally located at the gates of Worms , in what is now the Worms-Neuhausen district .


Liebenau Monastery around 1620, drawing in the Worms city archive (probably the only surviving depiction)
The Cyriakusstift Neuhausen (center with "A") and to the right of it Liebenau Monastery ("B")
First Liebenau Cross in the Augustinian Museum in Freiburg
King Ruprecht grew up with his grandmother Irmengard von Oettingen in the Liebenau monastery

Liebenau Monastery was located in the west of the Neuhäuser district, towards Hochheim , at the Pfrimmübergang , in the area of ​​today's Von-Steuben-Straße . There is also an Engelmannstrasse and a Holderbaumstrasse , both of which are reminiscent of the monastery founders and their families.


The Liebenau monastery is closely related to the nearby, also submerged St. Cyriakus monastery in Worms-Neuhausen .

The Cyriakusstift Neuhausen is very old and is said to have been a Frankish royal court, which was converted into a church of St. Dionysius by King Dagobert I around 630 . Bishop Samuel von Worms (841–856), also abbot in the imperial monastery Lorsch , acquired the relics of St. Cyriacus , one of the highly revered 14 emergency helpers , from Rome and brought them to the Neuhauser church, which soon received the new saint as patron and with was connected to a collegiate foundation. This made it a center of pilgrimage.

Emperor Heinrich V , who visited the monastery in 1111, had a castle built nearby, which was destroyed in 1124.

This castle complex with a polygonal shield wall was located only a little west of the Neuhausen Abbey, on a peninsula formed by the Pfrimm river and the Mühlbach there. It also bore the harmless name “dovecote” and was finally in ruins in 1288, in a feud between the clergy and the city. The Worms citizen Konrad Holderbaum acquired the area and through his son Johannes Holderbaum it got to his relatives Jacob Engelmann and Lieba nee. Holderbaum. The latter was probably Johannes Holderbaum's sister.

The married couple Jacob and Lieba Engelmann founded a nunnery on this site in 1299, on condition that they would be buried there. The name “Liebenau” was derived from Johann Friedrich Schannat , in “Historia episcopatus Wormatiensis” , 1734 (page 171), from the first name of the founder “Lieba” . The Bishop of Worms Eberwin von Kronberg († 1303) laid the foundation stone in 1300 and also took care of the completion after the death of the founder. The parish of Einselthum belonged to the monastery. At the beginning of the 16th century the monastery had possessions in Osthofen , Pfeddersheim , Alsheim , Einselthum, Westhofen , Gundersheim , Blödesheim , Eich , Hochheim , Leiselheim and Pfiffligheim .

In 1327, the year her husband Adolf von der Pfalz died , his wife, Countess Palatine Irmengard von Oettingen and her children retired to the still young Liebenau monastery. At first she only lived as a guest in the convent, around 1344 she entered there as a Dominican and lived here as a nun until her death in 1389 (various sources also mention the year 1399). As early as 1344, the Liebenau nuns acquired "with the property brought in by their co-sister and choir sister Irmegard, the widow of Count Palatine Adolf" , from the Neuweiler Abbey in Alsace , patronage rights and tithe of St. Martin's Church in Einselthum , as well as the monastery courtyard and the so-called stone house there ; also estate in Rüssingen . In Liebenau, Irmengard donated a daily Holy Mass on December 1, 1381, the so-called convent mass.

Countess Palatine Irmengard was buried in the Liebenau monastery after her death. In his “Historia episcopatus Wormatiensis” (page 172), the historian Johann Friedrich Schannat has handed down the funeral inscription, which no longer exists. It is noted in it that the princess lived as a religious sister for 40 years.

Irmengard's brother Ludwig died in 1346 on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. In his will he ordered a magnificent reliquary cross to be donated to the Liebenau monastery, which, according to the inscription, was made on behalf of the father. The cross came to Freiburg im Breisgau in a roundabout way and is one of the exhibits in the Augustinian Museum there .

Here in the Liebenau monastery, Irmengard's daughter-in-law Beatrix of Sicily-Aragon stayed with her for a time. The Dominican chronicler Johannes Meyer (1422–1482) reports that Countess Palatinate Beatrix gave birth to her son Ruprecht in Liebenau and that he was raised there by the grandmother Irmengard von Oettingen until he was 7 years old. Johann Friedrich Schannat also occupies the grave of his brother Adolf, who died as a child in 1358, in the Liebenau monastery; he must therefore have lived there too.

Since about 1445, Princess Margarete von der Pfalz , a disabled daughter of Elector Ludwig III, lived as a lay sister in Liebenau . She died on November 23, 1466 and is said to have been of great piety. Her cousins Barbara von Pfalz-Mosbach (1444–1486) and Dorothea von Pfalz-Mosbach (1439–1482), daughters of Count Palatine Otto I , were also Dominicans in Liebenau, Princess Dorothea was even the prioress of the convent at times.

Through the stay of the Countess Palatine Irmengard and her princely family members in Liebenau, the monastery enjoyed the very special favor and affection of the Palatinate ruling house. That is why many aristocratic women as well as noble civic daughters in the area entered there as sisters. In addition to the Countess Palatine, these were u. a. Countess Irmengard von Nassau , née Princess von Hohenlohe-Weikersheim . She was the cousin (on the mother's side) of Count Palatine Irmengard von Öttingen and widow of Count Gerlach I (Nassau) , the cousin of the late Count Palatine Adolf . Irmengard von Nassau died in Liebenau in January 1371; in the reputation of holiness, as the Historical Association for Hesse states. Margarethe von Württemberg († 1479), a daughter of Count Ulrich V , and Margarethe von Hanau-Münzenberg († 1503), who also descended from the Palatinate Wittelsbachers , as her grandmother Margarethe von Pfalz-Mosbach the sister of the aforementioned, also stayed there Liebenau nuns Dorothea von Pfalz-Mosbach and Barbara von Pfalz-Mosbach were. Since 1392 Else von Stromberg , an illegitimate daughter of Elector Ruprecht II , lived as a nun in the Liebenau monastery.

On behalf of Elector Ludwig III. the Dominican Petrus von Gengenbach renewed the monastic life in Liebenau around 1430. He brought nuns with him from Colmar and brought the convent back under strict observance . Several noble sisters then left Liebenau, while others, mostly from the area around the Palatinate's house, entered. Petrus von Gegenbach died on January 16, 1452 and was buried in the Liebenau monastery. In his Historia episcopatus Wormatiensis, Johann Friedrich Schannat also passed on the grave inscription from him , in which he is referred to as the "Augsburg Dominican and reformer of the monastery". In 1479 the Dominican, Princess Margarete von Württemberg, daughter of Duke Ulrich V, died here .

List of Prioresses

The following are known as prioresses:

List of Prioresses
prioress mentioned annotation
Katharine 1355
Margarethe 1370
Mechte from Bechtoldsheim 1381
Agnes von Schmidtburg 1391
Agnes Scheulern 1393
Donor Elisabeth von Erbach 1428
Katharine von Rudesheim 1428
Dorothee Beyerin from Boppard 1474
Dorothea of ​​Pfalz-Mosbach 1484? * 1439; † 1482
Barbara Golthus 1485 † 1502
Noppurga from Bettendorf 1500
Ursula von Westerstetten 1515-1529 † December 8, 1535
Anna von Seckendorff Prioress during the expulsion in 1565


In the course of the Reformation , Count Palatine Friedrich III. Between 1561 and 1563 the Liebenau monastery was forcibly closed three times, which the sisters always resisted. As early as 1560, they complained to the emperor about the massive disruption of their religious practice by the Protestants, whereupon the emperor ordered that at least one Catholic confessor must have free access to the nuns and instructed the count palatine accordingly in a letter.

After the failed attempt to repeal in 1561, Count Palatine Friedrich III. In May 1562 his officials were instructed to go to the monasteries of Himmelskron and Liebenau and to reveal his gracious attitudes to the nuns, according to which he, as their father of the country, would ardently wish that “they, as obedient children, obey his will and be instructed in the pure divine word ”; the previous Metten , as well as other Latin chants, should be omitted from now on. The ambassadors did as they were told, but the prioresses of both monasteries stood firm with their sisters. They only let the commissioners as far as the language grid, from where they then, as it is expressly stated, had to leave "with insult".

At the third attempt at dissolution on March 16, 1563, the prioress received the electoral commission after threats of violence in a room of the monastery, where all the conventuals, namely 13 nuns and 9 lay sisters in their religious clothes, were gathered. The civil servants made the following protocol:

We handed over the elector's letter and then discussed his requests, whereupon the prioress firmly and frankly declared: She was destined for the monastery by her parents in her youth and had come to it; she would therefore never deny her faith in which she was instructed, much less take off her religious clothes, since she, along with her subordinates, would never have left the monastery walls and therefore could not offend anyone with their clothing; her singing and reading, she continued, she recognized her whole rule as a praiseworthy Christian order; They could not accept a predicant, and if one were to be set up, they would not hear it for the reason that they could not orient themselves to the various beliefs which are currently being preached. The prioress did not let herself be turned away by our objections and finally said that we should ask all of her conventuals for their opinion so that we would not believe that she had instigated them; whereupon they all declared unanimously that they would never give up their faith and asked the elector to leave them with it. "

- "Archive for Hessian History and Archeology" , Volume 2, 1841, pages 452 and 453

The ruler did not finally take possession of it until 1570; the Dominicans were expelled in 1565 and moved with their last prioress Anna von Seckendorff to the monastery of St. Katharina Adelhausen near Freiburg im Breisgau. Previously, Elector Friedrich III. the sisters were intimidated with a personal violence in Liebenau, during which he punched through a painting of the crucifixion with his fist. In vain Anna von Seckendorff sued the Palatinate Elector at the Diet of Augsburg in 1566 in order to save the monastery. The property and property fell to the Electoral Palatinate “ Spiritual Property Administration ” in Heidelberg , which leased the convent building. In 1730, the Bishop of Worms, Franz Ludwig von Pfalz-Neuburg, acquired the buildings and land for the Hospital Neuhausen zu Horchheim Foundation . Due to renovations and destruction in later years, nothing of the building complex has survived.


Countess Palatine Margarethe von Savoyen had a "dwarf" named Katharine at the court, who after the death of the princess in 1470 was housed with the sisters in the Liebenau monastery and cared for there.

According to Johann Friedrich Schannat ("Historia episcopatus Wormatiensis", page 172), the 3-year-old Prince Adolf, son of Elector Ruprecht II, was buried in Liebenau . According to the epitaph, he died on the feast of the apostles Philip and James, in 1358.

The present-day ( Roman Catholic ) parish church of St. Maria Himmelskron in Worms-Hochheim did not belong to the Liebenau monastery, but to the neighboring Dominican monastery Himmelskron .

In the 19th and 20th centuries there was a leather factory on the site of the former Liebenau monastery, named after it "Heyl'sche Lederwerk Liebenau". The history-interested company owner Ludwig Freiherr von Heyl had excavations carried out on the area in 1929, which are documented in detail.

Liebenauer Hof

In Osthofen (Ludwig-Schwamb-Str. 22) there is still the "Liebenauer Hof" winery, one of the oldest wineries in the region. It once belonged to the donor couple of the Liebenau monastery and was given to them according to a document dated April 2, 1309. Johannes Holderbaum - probably a brother of the Liebenau monastery donor - and his wife Mechthild von Hirschberg acted as donors.


  • Historical Association for Hesse: Archives for Hessian History and Archeology , Volume 2. Darmstadt 1841; Complete scan, detailed history of the Liebenau monastery
  • Gundolf Gieraths: The Dominicans in Worms . Verlag der Stadtbibliothek Worms, 1964 (with its own chapter on Liebenau Abbey)
  • Otto Freiherr von Grote: Lexicon of German donors, monasteries and religious houses . Osterwieck am Harz 1881.
  • Georg Wilhelm Justin Wagner: The former spiritual pens in the Grand Duchy of Hesse . Bd. 1 = Provinces of Starkenburg and Upper Hesse. Darmstadt 1873.
  • Ingeborg Schroth: "A reliquary cross from 1342 from Liebenau Monastery" . In: Pantheon , No. 31, 1943, pages 43-47 for details on the source
  • Johann Friedrich Schannat : Historia episcopatus Wormatiensis . 1734, page 172
  • Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Munich: Treatises of the Churfürstlich-Baierische Academy of Sciences 3rd volume. 1765; Text scan of Irmengard von Oettingen and Liebenau Monastery
  • Jörg Rogge: Fürstin und Fürst - family relationships and opportunities for action by noble women in the Middle Ages . Verlag Thorbecke, 2004, ISBN 3-7995-4266-3 , page 35; Text scan of Irmengard von Oettingen and Liebenau Monastery
  • Friedrich Maria Illert: The excavations in the Liebenau monastery area . In: Der Wormsgau 1 (1926/33), pp. 354-359.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Heinrich BoosSamuel, Abbot of Lorsch and Bishop of Worms . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 30, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1890, p. 326.
  2. ^ Carl Villinger: Contributions to the history of the St. Cyriakusstiftes zu Neuhausen in Worms . 1955, page 14
  3. ^ Carl Villinger: Contributions to the history of the St. Cyriakusstiftes zu Neuhausen in Worms . 1955, page 22
  4. ↑ Origin of the name according to Schannat
  5. Source for the laying of the foundation stone by Bishop Eberwin
  6. Countess Palatine Irmengard in the Liebenau monastery
  7. ^ Website on the grave inscription of Count Palatine Irmingard
  8. ^ Franz Xaver Glasschröder : Documents on the Palatinate Church History in the Middle Ages , Munich, 1903, pages 245 u. 246, diploma no. 594 u. 597
  9. ^ Liebenauer Messstiftung by the Countess Palatine Irmengard
  10. Original scan of the epitaph from Schannat's Historia episcopatus Wormatiensis
  11. Source of the grave of the Countess Palatine in Liebenau
  12. On the donation of the cross to the Liebenau monastery
  13. ^ Illustrated website on the Liebenauer Kreuz in Freiburg
  14. On the chronicle of the order Johannes Meyer: Peter Ochsenbein:  Meyer, Johannes. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 5, Bautz, Herzberg 1993, ISBN 3-88309-043-3 , Sp. 1427-1429.
  15. Source on the birth of King Ruprecht I in the Liebenau Monastery, Worms
  16. Website on the grave inscription for Prince Adolf, in the Liebenau monastery
  17. ^ To the nun Margarete of the Palatinate
  18. ^ Website on the epitaph of Princess Margaret of the Palatinate
  19. ^ To the nun Barbara von der Pfalz-Mosbach
  20. ^ To the nun Dorothea of ​​the Palatinate Mosbach
  21. ^ Website on the grave inscription for Princess Dorothea, in the Liebenau monastery
  22. ^ Historischer Verein von Hessen: Archive for Hessian History and Archeology, Volume 2, Parts 2-3, Page 447, 1841; Scan from the source, on the death of Countess Irmengard von Nassau in the Liebenau monastery
  23. ^ Website on the grave inscription of Countess Irmengard von Nassau in the Liebenau monastery
  24. ^ Website for the epitaph of Margarethe von Hanau-Münzenberg
  25. To connect the Electoral Palatinate with the Liebenau Monastery
  26. ^ To the nun Else von Stromberg, illegitimate daughter of the elector
  27. On Petrus von Gengenbach and the observant reform in the Liebenau monastery
  28. a b Schannat: Historia episcopatus Wormatiensis . Page 173
  29. ^ Website for the epitaph of Peter von Gengenbach
  30. Website for the epitaph of Margarete von Württemberg in the monastery Liebenau
  31. After Wagner, p. 73f.
  32. Wagner, p. 73
  33. ^ Otto I. (Pfalz-Mosbach)
  34. Schannat: Historia episcopatus Wormatiensis . Page 174
  35. On the attempt at dissolution of 1561
  36. Detailed description of the attempt at repeal of 1562
  37. ^ Source on the last Prioress Anna von Seckendorff
  38. Freiburg Diocesan Archive , Volumes 86–87, p. 184, Herder Verlag, 1966; (Detail scan)
  39. ^ Hermann Gombert: Medieval Art in the Augustinermuseum Freiburg im Breisgau , Freiburg, 1965, p. 6 of the foreword; (Digital scan)
  40. Source on the violence of the Elector in the Liebenau Monastery
  41. ^ On the prioress' complaint against the elector
  42. Source for the abolition of the monastery
  43. On the year the monastery was abolished
  44. To accommodate the short court lady Katharine in Liebenau
  45. To Heyl'sche Lederwerk Liebenau
  46. On the excavations of 1929, in Liebenau
  47. The success story begins with a donation - ANNIVERSARY Osthofener Gut "Liebenauer Hof" has existed for 700 years. In: Wormser Zeitung. April 30, 2009, accessed February 23, 2020 .