Community ID
Medieval Location
Bingen; located at the confluence of the rivers Nahe and Glen
Modern Location
Disibod (needs verification)
Date Founded
1000 (circa)
Date Terminated
Religious Order
Foundation Information

Circa 1000 Archbishop Willigis of Mainz founded a canon monastery for twelve clergymen, who were responsible for the pastroal care of the surrounding settlements. In 1108 Archbishop Ruthard of Mainz summoned Benedictine monks from the Abbey of S. Jacob in Mainz and a new monastery was built on the Disibodenberg. According to the customs of the time, a nun's cell was adjoined to the monks' monastery, although the exact location of the cell is uncertain. Jutta of Sponheim was the first to live as a recluse in this cell. A young Hildegard of Bingen and two companions were entrusted to her for an education. It is likely that the monks of the Disibodenberg introduced Hildegard to the complex Benedictine traditions and provided her with a broad intellectual education. In 1136 Jutta, the "mistress" of the female hermitage on the Disibodenberg, died and Hildegard was unanimously elected as her successor. Circa 1147 the community formally divided into male and female houses. In 1147 Hildegard left the Disibodenberg with 18 nuns, moving to Rupertsberg.

First Members
Notable Heads

Abbess Jutta of Sponheim, who oversaw the convent in 1098 and with whom the young Hildegard lived, is famous. When Jutta died in 1136, Hildegard herself would become abbess of the community for twelve years. At this time the community included ten women. Hildegard also founded the new convent of Rupertsberg on the basis of one of her visions. In 1150 she moved to the convent of Rupertsberg with eighteen sisters. Due to the increasing number of sisters, Hildegard founded another convent in the empty monastery of Eibingen on the other side of the Rhine River. In 1165 she bought this monastery and placed sisters in it.

Dependent Communities

Rupertsberg and Eibingen, both of which were founded by Abbess Hildegard.

Social Characteristics

This was a noble house (needs verification).

Relative Wealth

This was once a wealthy and sizeable convent.

Literary Works

The convent is famous for S. Hildegard, who lived here in her youth with Jutta and began writing her Scivias here.

State Of Medieval Structure

Only ruins from the medieval convent survive today in a wooden area. The area is covered with ruined walls, broken vaults, columns, and stairs. The outlines of a very large church are still discernable. The foundation of the walls and the columns of the church survive. There are also ruins of numerous other buildings belonging to the convent, such as a courtyard, bakery with an oven, and some other houses. From the eighteenth century, the convent served as a quarry. The present private proprietor of the grounds, Ehrengard Baroness of Racknitz, nee Countess of Hohenthal, has transferred the grounds into a foundation, The SCIVIAS-Foundation of Disibodenberg, which endeavors to continue research and preservation on the site.

Secondary Sources

Sr. Teresa Tromberend, "Disibodenberg";">http://www.uni-mainz.de/~horst/hildegard/wirk/edisibod.html">"Disibodenb... Enclosure and Containment: Jutta and Hildegard at the Abbey of St. Disibod

Admin. Notes

More research necessary

June Mecham
Contributors Notes

Disibod (c. 674) was an Irish bishop; he went to Germany where he founded a monastery on a hill near Bingen. His vita was written by S. Hildegard, based on her visions. The site of the monastery, at the confluence of the rivers Nahe and Glen, had served as a center for Christian life since the seventh century, and perhaps existed as a religious site prior to this.
The university of Mainz maintains a website which allows one to follow the path of art and artifacts relating to the life of S. Hildegard in the city of Bingen. The website is (in German) at
An additional page on Disibodenberg has been translated into English
See also Wofgand Wanner's description at http://tweedledee.ucsb.edu/~kris/music/Bingen_today.html

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Date Finished