Community ID
Alternate Names
Novalis (Novale) sanctae Mariae; Frauenroden; Frauenrod
Medieval Location
in a valley just south of Burkardroth
Modern Location
Burkardroth; in the governmental district of Unterfranken; in the administrative district of Bad Kissingen.
Corporate Status
S. George; All Saints; possibly S. Burkhard
Date Founded
Date Terminated
1537 according to one source, but possibly after 1574
Religious Order
Foundation Information

This Cistercian convent was founded by Count Otto II of Henneberg and Beatrice of Botenlauben (Bodenlauben) when the founders exchanged their holdings in Egenhausen for those in the village of Burkardroth. Their Cistercian convent was founded in a valley just south of Burkardroth. The convent was well-endowed at its foundation. The convent was exempt from the power of the archdeacon and had no advocate other than the bishop of the diocese (Krausen, 39). The count acted as custodian of the convent.

Notable Heads

Known abbesses are: Elisabeth, 1250; Kunigunde of Munrichstadt (Münnerstadt), 1281; Hedwig, Rottenfels, Hildegunt, 1292; Adelheid of Rotenkolbe, 1320; Adelheid, 1336; Kunigunde Kaufmann, 1355; Elisabeth, 1359; Huse, 1369; Isentrud, 1374; Jutha of Wallrathhausen, 1381; Katharina of Brende, 1381; Cecilia of Kohlenhufen, 1410; Othilia, 1422; Barbara, 1433; Anna Kuchenmeister, 1449; Barbara Pfersdorferin, 1459; Barbara Kuchenmeisterin, 1459; Barbara, 1481; Margaretha Bayerin, 1482; Ursula of Gumpffen, 1485; Margaretha, 1487; Ursula, 1495; Othuilia von der Neuenburg, 1499; Ursula, 1510; Amalia of Rumrod, 1557.

Priveleges & Papal Exemptions

The convent's rich possessions made it a target for greedy knights and forced it to seek papal protection. Pope Gregory IX ordered the archbishop of Mainz to force the restitution of the convent's property from the knights under threat of the bann on June 7, 1234 (Link, 586). In 1234 Pope Gregory IX also confirmed the convent's privilege whereby the ordinarius had to obtain an invitation from the nuns before he could come to the convent or interfere in the election of the abbess. In the same year the pope had to intervene for the convent against its oppression by the archbishop of Mainz (Krausen, 39). He further granted the convent all the freedoms of the Cistercian order (Link, 586).

Other Ecclesiastical Relations

The abbot of Bildhausen served as the spiritual advisor for the nuns; there were also two chaplains under him.


Counts of Henneberg (who were buried in the convent) and the Bishop of Würzburg


In 1234 the founders bestowed all the tithes from their joint income, to which were added later gifts of gold and other goods. The initial provision for the convent consisted of 1000 Marks silver; property in Wolframshausen, which gave the convent yearly 23 pigs, 90 hens, 14 schillings pennies, and portions of grain, corn, and wheat(?); farms and goods in Iphausen, Fugstadt, Löffelsterz, Steinarch, Wieden, Sulzthal, Aschach, Stangenrod, Wolbach and other villages (Link, 586). The convent continued to prosper through gifts from the Counts of Henneberg and the Bishop of Würzburg as well as through purchases of land. In 1287 the bishop of Würzburg confirmed the grant of 10 acres of fields, which Berthold of Rothenkolben granted the convent upon the entrance of his daughter Gertrudis (Link, 586). In 1339 Fritz of Rothenkolben and his wife, Zacharia, gave their daughter Adelheid, a nun in the convent, a portion of grain from their property in Hollstadt; after her death, this portion should fall to their other daughter, Hille, another nun within the community. After the death of both the portion came into the possession of the convent (Link, 587). In 1284 Albert of Oberfeld granted his daughter, Kunigunde, a nun in the convent, a stipend from his property in Machtolshausen with a yearly income of 10 schillings denarius and a portion of corn. In the same year, the knight, Bolenand of Herbelstadt (Herbstadt) made an agreement with Abbess Hedwig for his burial and the transfer of his horse and weapons to the convent upon his death. If his heirs wished the same privilege they had to pay 6 Marks silver, and if he should die elsewhere and not be able to be buried in the convent, his wife, Sophie and his son, Rudolph, should grant the convent a portion in Hagenau. If he died without his horse, the convent should receive a farm in Hagenau in lieu of the horse or a payment of 3 Marks (!) (Link, 587). The convent experienced economic difficulties in 1434 and 1459.


The convent appears to have run a hospital, as indicated by bequests and sums in the Abbess's account books (Link, 587).

Art & Artifacts

There are stone statues of the founders (previously from their gravesite) which date to circa 1300 and display a similarity to statues from Naumburg (Krausen, 40).

Architecture & Archaeology

The convent church consisted of three naves and was largely changed in the seventeenth century.

Manuscript Sources

The archives for the community are located in the Hstadtarchiv of München (Munich) as well as in the archives of Bamberg and Würzburg. The Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart contains a Gradual (circa 14th c.) from the community, #I. 246.

Secondary Sources

HUEMER, B. Verzeichnis der deutschen Cisterzienserinnenklöster. (StMBO 37, 1916).
Die Klöster des Zisterzienserordens in Bayern
Klosterbuch der Diocese Wurzburg.Handschriftenerbe des Deutschen Mittelalters, vol. 1, p. 249.

Miscellaneous Information

Abess Barbara III Kuchenmeister was censured in 1467 by the head of the Cistercian order because she had brought a dispute with the abbess of Marburghausen before the German king (Krausen, 39). In 1525 peasant unrest caused the nuns to flee to Würzburg, and the convent was plundered. After 1574 the convent dissolved with the death of its abbess, and the convent's possessions fell to the bishop of Wuerzburg. In 1691 the land was sold to eight farmers in Burkardroth, where the convent once stood.

Manuscripts Produced

The only remaining work from the convent's library is a Gradual held in the Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart.

Admin. Notes

more research necessary /Hist. Staetten, 192.

June Mecham
Date Started
Date Finished