Ribnitz Monastery

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Poor Clare Monastery (also houses the German Amber Museum )

The Klarissenkloster - also Sankt Klaren Kloster Ribnitz , Kloster St. Claren - was a monastery of the Poor Clares and after the Reformation it was an evangelical women's monastery in Ribnitz, a current district of Ribnitz-Damgarten in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.


Devotional image

The monastery was created on the basis of a foundation made by Heinrich II of Mecklenburg in 1323/24 . Construction of the monastery began in 1325, and the first nuns moved in as early as 1329. The first four of them came from the Poor Clare Monastery in Weißenfels . Heinrich's daughter Beatrix (Beate von Ribnitz) became the first of a series of princely abbesses. Until she had reached the required age, two of the nuns from Weißenfels administered the monastery one after the other.

The monastery temporarily housed up to 60 nuns. The cura monialium , the “care for the nuns”, was the task of the Franciscans from the convent in Wismar , which belonged to the Saxon Franciscan Province ( Saxonia ). As guardians, they represented the nunnery in terms of church and civil law and were active as confessors in the monastery. In 1522/23 the Franciscan reading master Lambrecht Slagghert wrote a chronicle of the monastery. Together with the nuns, he created devotional pictures, six of which have survived.

The monastery existed as a Catholic religious order until well after the Reformation - which was associated with the closure and secularization of all monasteries in Mecklenburg - and ultimately until the death of the last abbess Ursula von Mecklenburg , a daughter of the Mecklenburg Duke Heinrich V , in 1586. Abbess Ursula managed the monastic economy very successfully.

After her death, the monastery income was withdrawn by the ducal chamber and the promises made to the state estates in Article 4 of the Sternberger Assekuration of July 2, 1572 that the monastery would be handed over quickly after Ursula's death were postponed. It was not until December 1599 that the monastery was handed over to the Mecklenburg Knights and Landscapes and the monastery was converted into a Protestant women's monastery. The first Evangelical dominatrix of the monastery had previously been the prioress of the Poor Clare monastery. The women's monastery now offered a place for twelve unmarried daughters from knightly families. In 1704 the city of Rostock was contractually granted two monastery places for daughters of the council, the remaining ten positions were given to unmarried daughters of the Mecklenburg nobility eligible for monastery. The women received accommodation and prebends in the monastery.

After the November Revolution , the monastery was confiscated by the Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and, like all state monasteries with the new state constitution in 1920, dissolved as a public corporation. In court proceedings through all instances up to the State Court of Justice for the German Reich , however, it was achieved that claims to a place in the convention that had already been acquired remained valid under civil law. The last canoness Olga von Oertzen living in the monastery was also the dominatrix of the convent. She was elected in 1946 and died in 1961.

The German Amber Museum is located in the former dominatrix apartment and the adjoining conventual interior apartments . After a lengthy renovation, an exhibition on the history of the monastery and monastery will be shown in the monastery church from May 29, 2010. North German wooden sculptures and the finds that came to light under the nuns ' stalls during the restoration of the nuns' choir in 2001, the so-called Nonnenstaubb , a find similar to the stalls found in Vienna , but smaller in scope, under the rows of seats of the nuns in the choir, are exhibited. The exhibition also leads into the piety history of the Protestant canon ladies and shows a collection of the Mecklenburg monastery orders.



Only the church from the end of the 14th century has been preserved from the original monastery complex. It is a simple one-nave brick building with six cross-ribbed yokes . The east and west gables are decorated with blind arches, and a small tower has been added in front of them. In the nave is the sandstone epitaph for the last abbess of the Poor Clare Convent Ursula Duchess of Mecklenburg, created after 1586 in the workshop of the Güstrow master builder Philipp Brandin . The neo-Gothic interior of the church dates back to the years after 1840. The organ was built in 1839/40 by the Rostock organ builder Heinrich Rasche .

In the church today the exhibition "Lady of the world, but also a nun - from the Poor Clare monastery to the aristocratic women's monastery, to the monastery and monastery history" is shown.

Poor Clare Monastery, Ribnitz-Damgarten

Remaining buildings

In the 1720s, the demolition of the medieval cloister building began. Apartments for four women were built on the foundations of the dormitory and refectory . Additional spacious apartments were built for the other eight women in the late 18th and 19th centuries. In 1892 a new building for the monastery administration (kitchen master's house) was completed. The medieval previous building at another location was demolished in 1893. The convent hall, which was designed with elaborate stencil painting in 1892, has been preserved in the kitchen master's house.

The German Amber Museum is located in the house of the head of the monastery (Domina) and in the adjacent buildings .

The historic ceiling of the convent hall in the kitchen master's house was renovated by May 2012. The false ceiling of the convent hall was removed and the old ceiling painting with tendrils, garlands and birds became visible again.


List of the personalities of the Ribnitz monastery.


  • 1330–1334 Mechthild von Stendal
  • 1334–1349 Katharina von Bautzen
  • 1349–1398 Beatrix of Mecklenburg
  • 1398–1408 Ingeborg von Mecklenburg
  • 1408-1424 Caecilia by Mallin
  • 1424–1467 Hedwig of Mecklenburg-Stargard
  • 1467–1493 Elisabeth of Mecklenburg
  • 1493–1537 Dorothea of ​​Mecklenburg
  • 1539–1586 Ursula von Mecklenburg


Dominatrixes were:

Monastery captains


  • 1893 Count von Bernstorff on Hundorf
  • 1893 from Kardorf to Ganzow
  • 1913 Friedrich von der Lühe at Neuhof
  • 1913 Hans von Plessen in Damshagen


  • Fragment from the German chronicle of the Fräulein-Kloster St. Claren-Order zu Ribbenitz by Lambrecht Slagghert . Communicated by CF Fabricius , In: Mecklenburgische Jahrbücher , Schwerin 1841, special edition ( e-copy ).
Chronicles, treatises
  • Julius Wiggers , Moritz Wiggers : History of the three Mecklenburg regional monasteries Dobbertin, Malchow and Ribnitz. First half: From the foundation of the three monasteries to the transfer of the same to the estates in 1572. GB Leopoldsche Universitätsbuchhandlung, Rostock 1848.
Digitized version of the copy from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek , no more published
  • Christian Johann Friedrich Peters : The country Swente-Wustrow or the Fischland. A historical account . Wustrow 1862 ( e-copy )
  • Ingo Ulpts: The mendicant orders in Mecklenburg. A contribution to the history of the Franciscans, Poor Clares, Dominicans and Augustinian Hermits in the Middle Ages. (Saxonia Franciscana, Vol. 6). Werl 1995. ISBN 3-87163-216-3 .
  • Wolfgang Huschner : The founding of the Poor Clare monastery Ribnitz (1323 / 24-1331): A sovereign foundation against urban and spiritual resistance . In: Donated Future in Medieval Europe / ed. by Wolfgang Huschner and Frank Rexroth, Berlin: Akad.-Verl. 2008, pp. 333-351. ISBN 978-3-05-004475-0 .
  • The Mecklenburg regional monastery Ribnitz from 1900 until the death of his last domina Olga von Oertzen in 1961. In: 775 years Ribnitz-750 years Damgarten, contributions to the recent city history. Ribnitz-Damgarten 2008, ISBN 978-3-00-024450-6 , pp. 296–328.
  • Axel Attula: Lady of the world, but also a nun - from the Poor Clare monastery to the noble women's monastery. To the exhibition in the Ribnitz Monastery. Ribnitz-Damgarten 2011, ISBN 978-3-00-034834-1 .
  • Axel Attula: Decorations for women, Protestant women's pens in Northern Germany and their orders. Thomas Helms Verlag, Schwerin 2011, ISBN 978-3-940207-21-0 .
  • Wolfgang Huschner, Anke Huschner, Stefan Schmieder, Jörg Ansorge, Renate Samariter, Frank Hoffmann, Axel Attula: Ribnitz, Kloster Heilig Kreuz (Ordo S. Clarae / Klarissen). In: Wolfgang Huschner, Ernst Münch , Cornelia Neustadt, Wolfgang Eric Wagner: Mecklenburg monastery book. Handbook of the monasteries, monasteries, coming and priories (10th / 11th - 16th centuries). Volume II., Rostock 2016, ISBN 978-3-356-01514-0 , pp. 757-836.

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ingo Ulpts: The mendicant orders in Mecklenburg. Werl 1995, p. 197.
  2. Axel Attula: Observations on six meditation panels from the Ribnitz Clare monastery. In: Ecclesiae ornatae. Church furnishings from the Middle Ages and early modern times. Bonn: Cultural Foundation of German Expellees 2009 ISBN 978-3-88557-226-8 , pp. 143-160.
  3. See Regina Scherping: The "Nonnenstaub" from the Poor Clare Monastery in Ribnitz, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. In: Women - Monastery - Art. New research on the cultural history of the Middle Ages. Turnhout 2007 ISBN 978-2-503-52357-6 , pp. 229-236
  4. Restoration of the historic ceiling of the convent hall in the kitchen master's house . in: www.kloster-ribnitz.de  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.kloster-ribnitz.de  
  5. List after Wiggers (Lit.), p. 40 Note 1
  6. Axel Attula, Horst Alsleben : Compilation of the personalities of the Poor Clare monastery Ribnitz. Schwerin 2012

Coordinates: 54 ° 14 ′ 28 "  N , 12 ° 25 ′ 56"  E