Community ID
Alternate Names
Gerbstad, Gerbestede
Date Founded
985 (circa)
Religious Order
Benedictine by 1118
Foundation Information

The convent was founded and endowed circa 985 by margrave Riedag (Ricdag, Rikdag) from Meissen from the house of Wettin. His sister, Eilsuit, was a co-founder and became the first abbess. The community was first founded according to the rule of S. Augustine and S. John the Baptist. The house became the burial place for Riedag and his son, Karolo, as well as several other family members. Between 1064-1075, the community was reorganized with the advice and approval of Bishop Burchard of Halberstadt. Between 1064-1084 Bishop Friedrich brought it under the bishopric of Muenster. Spiritual supervision of the house was given to the bishop of Muenster. In 1118 the community changed to a Benedictine community under the influence of Margrave Conrad. In 1137 the pope confirmed the convent as Benedictine.

First Members

Eilsuit, sister of Riedag of Meissen, was the first abbess.

Population Counts

The community was established for an abbess and twenty-four sisters with income allocated for the support of six priests, a deacon, and a sub-deacon. At the time of confirmation, 1137, there were 120 nuns in the convent. In 1561 there were forty nuns, but by 1590 Otto von Plotho continued to provide support for only four.

Priveleges & Papal Exemptions

Pope Innocent I took the convent under his protection. On June 4, 1225 Pope Honorius III took the convent under his protection and confirmed its holdings. On July 5, 1259, Pope Alexander IV confirmed all of the freedoms of the convent of Gerbstedt granted to it by the worldly princes.

Secular Political Affiliations

The convent was a foundation of the Wettin family. Later protection of the community was assumed by the Mansfeld counts, as the Wettin family withdrew from this area and lost an interest in their foundations. They appear in the position of protectorate from circa 1225. The supervision of the bishops from Muenster continued until 1318.

Social Characteristics

The sisters were drawn from the nobility and lower nobility.


The community held the S. Mary-chapel and church in Domnitz.


The community evidently had relics, for they sold them in 1506 in an attempt to ease their financial difficulties.

Published Primary Sources
Miscellaneous Information

In 1506 there was a reform attempt and a period of material hardship which was not abated by the sale of the community's relics. In 1585 the community was mortgaged to Otto Edlen von Plotho. After this the community was secularized. The community suffered damage in the Peasants' War.

Admin. Notes

Need to scan in primary documents

June Mecham
Date Started