Fischbeck
Community ID
 
2497
 
Alternate Names
 
Visbec
 
Town
 
near Hameln
 
Diocese
 
Minden
 
Medieval Location
 
on the Weser river
 
Dedication
 
Blessed Virgin Mary; (later) S. John the Baptist
 
Date Founded
 
955
 
Date Terminated
 
1559
 
Religious Order
 
Benedictine(needs verification); Augustinian by 1484
 
Rule
 
Benedictine(needs verification); Augustinian by 1484
 
Foundation Information
 

This community was established in 955 as a community of canonesses, perhaps following the rule of S. Benedict. The community was founded by the noble woman Helmburg in memorial of her deceased husband and two sons. A large scale embroidery from the convent, created in 1583, depicts the foundation legend of Helmburg; in the last scene King Otto I conveys the document of his protection to the canonesses. It continued as such until the thirteenth century. In 1484 the community was reformed according to the Augustinian rule, although it is unclear whether the community continued as a community of canonesses or nuns.

 
Dependency Of
 

In 1147 Emperor Conrad III placed the chapter of Fischbeck, along with the community of Kemnade, under the authority of the Benedictine abbey of Corvey. With the support of Henry the Lion and the duke von Schaumburg, however, Fischbeck was able to reassert and re-establish its independence.

 
Other Ecclesiastical Relations
 

In its contest with the bishop of Minden over its independence from Corvey, the community acquired a papal exemption in 1158. Fischbeck was now placed under the protection of the emperor and the pope.

 
Secular Political Affiliations
 

King Otto I placed the chapter under his protection, although the convent was not a proprietary foundation of the king. In 1147 Emperor Conrad III placed the chapter of Fischbeck, along with the community of Kemnade, under the authority of the Benedictine abbey of Corvey. With the support of Henry the Lion and the duke von Schaumburg, however, Fischbeck was able to reassert and re-establish its independence.

 
Art & Artifacts
 

A large scale embroidery from the convent, created in 1583, depicts the foundation legend of Helmburg; in the last scene King Otto I conveys the document of his protection to the canonesses. A "triumphal cross" (Triumphkreuz) from the thirteenth century is still preserved at the community.

 
Architecture & Archaeology
 

In fact, the earliest portions of the chapter church date from the period of its initial foundation in the tenth century. The present structure dates from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

 
State Of Medieval Structure
 

Many of the buildings and the church were rebuilt and redecorated in the eighteenth century, although the church and cloister structure still date from the medieval period. (See Architecture & Archaeology above).

 
Manuscript Sources
 

The Landesbibliothek in Hannover conatins a Martyrology, written by Agnes Klenke circa 1509, which belonged to the community, #I 190. The Herzog-August-Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel contains a calendar and necrology from the community, dating from the 13-15th centuries, #42. Gud. lat. 2o(4347). An indulgence, probably secured in connection with the initial construction of the chapter and dating from 1099, is still extant.

 
Miscellaneous Information
 

In 1234 a fire damaged the community and its church. The convent existed until its acceptance of Lutheranism in 1559. The community suffered particularly during the period of the Thirty Years' War. The community continues to exist to the present as a Lutheran women's chapter.

 
Contributors
 
June Mecham
 
Contributors Notes
 

Further research is necessary

 
Date Started
 
955
 
Date Finished
 
1559; present
 
Length
 
871