Servite monastery in Großenhain

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The Servite monastery in Großenhain was a branch of the mendicant order of the Servites ( Ordo Servorum Mariae , order abbreviation: OSM) in Großenhain in the district of Meißen (Saxony). The monastery may have been founded before 1299 and abolished in 1539. The monastery buildings were damaged in the city fire of 1540. After the restoration, the farm buildings were used as a yard for storing woad . The church was also rebuilt in 1703. After another city fire in 1744, the ruined church was initially provided with an emergency roof, but demolished in 1839 and a school was built in its place.


According to Cornelius Gurlitt in the architectural and art monuments of the Kingdom of Saxony, booklet 38, the monastery church is said to have stood in the southern area of ​​the city, approximately opposite the confluence of today's Klempnergäßchen with Heinrich-Heine-Straße.

Grossenhain city map around 1745. Unfortunately, the map is not north, note the north arrow! (from Gurlitt, 1914, fig. 89)


According to Otto Mörtzsch, the Servites were already in the city in 1299. This year they received a talent from Provost Theoderich von Bautzen. The sisters Lusche and Margarethe donated four beds and one mark. According to Schubert, Chronicle of the City of Großenheim , the Servites did not come to Großenhain until 1318. A document from Bishop Withego II of Meißen is said to refer to the founding of the monastery in Großenhain. The monks in Grossenhain are also said not to have been particularly welcome, because Bishop Ludwig von Brandenburg an der Havel (1329–1347) imposed the excommunication on those who had chased the Servites out of their monastery by force. In 1339 Pope Benedict XII confirmed . the settlement of the Servites in Grossenhain and took them under his protection.

In 1381 the Marienknechte zu Hayn received a court from the Margraves Balthasar , Wilhelm , Friedrich , Wilhelm and Georg von Meißen at Neuendorfischer Tor, which the venerable matron Jutta, known as the head of the house, and her sons had given them. Chladenius writes: In 1381 the Marienknechte at Hayn, the monks, received a house from the Margrave of Meissen as their property. This house is said to have been the Calandshof, situated in the cone tip, because the Calandbrothers collected Allmosen for the monks.

In 1429 the Hussites conquered the city of Grossenhain. The Servite monastery, like the other monastery in Großenhain, the Maria Magdalenen nunnery, was plundered and the monks and nuns murdered. The monastery was repopulated and rebuilt. The monks are also said to have run the Latin school in Großenhain.

On St. Wenceslas Day 1455 (September 28), the Meissen cathedral provost Dietrich von Schönberg donated his annual memorial and the singing of the antiphon Descendi in oreum in the monastery of the Marienknechte in Hayn .

In 1474 the brothers of the monastery are supposed to have the supervision of the eternal light in the parish church.

In 1486 the Prior General of the Servites, Antonius Alabanti, visited the order province of Alamania and held a provincial chapter in the convent in Germersheim . For this purpose, a register was created that recorded the number of monks, the church equipment and the income of the respective monasteries, as well as the taxes of the individual monasteries to the order headquarters, the monastery in Grossenhain had to give 8 guilders.

In 1486, Großenhain was the seat of Wenzeslaus Pruss, the Provincial of the Servites in Germany. That year the convent had 17 priests (monks) including provincial and prior. Three priest-monks were absent. Five of the priest monks were terminators , that is, they begged food and money in their begging districts. Two clerics also belonged to the convent. The monastery's goods or income are named:

  • a vineyard from which the grapes for the wine for the sacrifice were harvested
  • a grove that provided enough firewood for the convent
  • a meadow that brought in 9 guilders a year
  • a ton of fish stock ( allecum ) annually
  • As Almoses they received 11½ guilders from the lords of the Duchy of Saxony
  • 70 guilders from anniversary foundations and alms
  • the terminators begged so much grain that it was enough for the maintenance of the convent

In the sacristy there were ten chalices, a tabernacle with the body of the Lord valued at 100 guilders, a golden cross and chasubles for worship in sufficient quantities.

In 1506 many of the monks are said to have died of the plague. The Servite monastery was closed, the monks had to pull the food from the fortress kennel with ropes into their monastery. In 1514 a complaint was made about the terminator of the monastery in Mittweida that he had led an unscrupulous, unpredictable and evil life there.

In 1536 the convent in Grossenhain Monastery consisted of the prior Johannes Goich, the senior Kaspar Starke, the four monks Johannes Nitsche, Christopherus Rober, Martin Hentschell and Sebastian Kannegießer, and the lay brother Johannes Mirisch.

In 1539 the monastery was secularized. In the end, the convent consisted of only two monks. In the parish Bockelwitz (near Leisnig) Valentin Mager, a former monk of the Servite monastery of Großenhain, is said to have been pastor.


  • 1361 Heinricus, prior
  • 1455 Symon Gassmann
  • 1472 Henricus Conradi de Vach, prior
  • 1474 Johannes Trost von Halle, Provincial, Petrus de Vach, Prior
  • until 1486 brother Zacharias, prior
  • from 1486 Wenzelaus (Pruss), Prior or F. Andreas de Hayn
  • 1536 Johannes Goich, prior, Kaspar Starcke, senior
  • 1539 Caspar / Kaspar Starke, prior


The monastery buildings are said to have been destroyed by the Hussites in 1429. They must have been restored soon afterwards. The monastery church is said to have had five altars (seven altars). Soulier names St Erasmus and Laurentius as saints of the convent. It is also said to have had a particularly beautiful, large tower, which was called the "Monk's Top". In 1473 it burned down after being struck by lightning. In 1540 the monastery buildings were damaged again by fire, but largely remained standing and were used as a farm for storing and processing woad . During the Thirty Years War , the town horses and farm cattle were housed in the monastery building. During the occupation of Grossenhain by the Swedes, the buildings were used as a prison, then as a provisions store. After the Thirty Years War, the woad trade was initially resumed (1651); however, it came to a standstill in the second half of the 17th century. Then the buildings were demolished. The former monastery church, which stood as a ruin, was rebuilt in 1703, initially remained a ruin due to the Northern War and was finally inaugurated in 1723. It burned down again in the town fire of 1744 and remained in ruins for many years. It was later provided with a roof in order to expand it again later. In the end, the building was demolished in 1839 to build a new boys' school with the stones in the same place .


  • Carl Gottfried Theodor Chladenius (with a preface by Johann Friedrich Ursinus): Materials for the Großenhayner Stadtchronik, the first part containing the description and constitution and the second part the annual events of the city, from archives, chronicles, documents, town and church books, Manuscripts and other messages collected. Schuffenhauersche Schriften, Pirna 1787. (hereinafter abbreviated to Chladenius, materials with corresponding page number)
  • Cornelius Gurlitt : Descriptive representation of the older architectural and art monuments of the Kingdom of Saxony. 38th issue: The cities of Großenhain, Radeburg and Riesa. CC Meinhold & Söhne, Leipzig 1914. (hereinafter abbreviated to Gurlitt, descriptive illustration with corresponding page number)
  • Hermann Gustav Hasse: History of the Saxon monasteries: Mark Meissen and Upper Lusatia. Friedrich Andreas Perthes, Gotha 1888. Online at
  • Waldemar Küther, Hans Goller (staff): Vacha and his Servite monastery in the Middle Ages. 365 p., Böhlau Verlag, Cologne & Vienna, 1971 (hereinafter abbreviated to Küther, Vacha and his Servitenkloster with corresponding page number)
  • Gustav Wilhelm Schuberth (text), Camillo Ehregott Zschille (ill.): Chronicle of the city of Grossenhain from 1088 to the present day. Printed and published by Arthur Hentze's, Grossenhain 1887–1892.
  • Peregrino Soulier: De Antiquis Servorum Coenobiis in Germania. Monumenta Ordinis Servorum Sanctae Mariae, 1. Brussels 1893, pp. 113–149.
  • Kurt Toller: The former monastery of the Marienknechte in Radeburg. Henschel, Radeburg, undated (around 1920). (hereinafter abbreviated to Toller, Radeburg with the corresponding page number)
  • Gregor Maria Zinkl: The Servite monasteries in Germany before the Reformation. In: Der Katholik, magazine for Catholic science and church life, 4th episode, 10 (8). Mainz 1912, pp. 86-101. PDF (hereinafter abbreviated to Zinkl, Servitenkloster with corresponding page number)

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h Otto Mörtzsch: Historical-topographical description of the administrative authority in Großenhain. 94 p., Landesverein Sächsischer Heimatschutz, Dresden, 1935 Online at SLUB Dresden , p. 32
  2. ^ Karl Heinrich Friedrich Chlodwig von Reitzenstein: Regesta of the Counts of Orlamuende from Babenberger and Ascanic tribe with family tables, seal images, monuments and coats of arms. 284 S., Bayreuth; Burger 1871 Online at Google Books p. 197
  3. Chladenius, materials, p. 58 online at Google Books .
  4. a b Zinkl, Servitenkloster, p. 96/97.
  5. Chladenius, materials, p. 63 online at Google Books .
  6. Monumenta Ordinis Servorum Sanctae Mariae, Vol. 1, p. 142.
  7. a b c Monumenta Ordinis Servorum Sanctae Mariae, 1, p. 136.
  8. Chladenius, materials, p. 70 online at Google Books .
  9. ^ Toller, Radeburg, p. 4
  10. Hingst: The Reformation in the Buch monastery and its church parish. Announcements of the history and antiquity association of Leisnig in the kingdom, 3: 31–56, Leisnig 1874 Online at Google Books p. 41.
  11. Küther, Vacha und seine Servitenkloster, p. 142.
  12. ^ Arcangelo Giani, Luigi Maria Garbi: Annalium Sacri Ordinis Fratrum Servorum B. Mariae Virginis A suae Institutionis exordio ...., Volume 1. Typis Marescandoli, Lucca, 1719 Online at Google Books
  13. ^ Toller, Radeburg, p. 3
  14. a b Gurlitt, Descriptive Presentation, p. 47.
  15. a b c Karl Preusker: Glimpses into the patriotic prehistoric times: customs, legends, buildings, costumes, tools, to explain public and domestic folk life in pagan antiquity and Christian Middle Ages in the Saxon and neighboring countries; for educated readers of all levels. 3. Ribbon. 245 p., Verlag der JC Hinrichs'schen Buchhandlung, Leipzig, 1844 Online at Google Books , p. 156.
  16. Monumenta Ordinis Servorum Sanctae Mariae, Vol. 1, p. 120.
  17. Chladenius, materials, p. 66 online at Google Books .
  18. Chladenius, materials, p. 121 online at Google Books .
  19. Chladenius, materials, p. 126 online at Google Books .
  20. Chladenius, materials, p. 17 online at Google Books
  21. ^ Albert Schiffner: Handbook of geography, statistics and topography of the Kingdom of Saxony. 2. Delivery, containing the Dresden district directorate. 696 p., Friedrich Fleischer, Leipzig Online at Google Books , p. 519.

Coordinates: 51 ° 17 ′ 24.1 ″  N , 13 ° 31 ′ 51.1 ″  E