Lüne
Community ID
 
1387
 
Alternate Names
 
Hliuni (795); Luine (1140); Rodestorpe sive Lune (1261)
 
Town
 
Lüneburg
 
Diocese
 
Verden; presently Hildesheim
 
Medieval Location
 
In the dukedom of Lüneburg . (see foundation field) In the dukedom of Saxony (961); later in the dukedom of Braunschweig-Lueneburg (1235).
 
Modern Location
 
The community is located in the Lüneburg Heide (Heath), close to the Ilmenau and the city of Lüneburg .
 
Corporate Status
 
Priory
 
Dedication
 
S. Mary (1172) and S. Bartholomew (1200); (see also miscellaneous information)
 
Date Founded
 
1172 (circa)
 
Date Terminated
 
still extant
 
Religious Order
 
Benedictine
 
Rule
 
Benedictine (by 1284)
 
Foundation Information
 

The Benedictine convent was located on a site inhabited since circa by a monk of the community of S. Michaelis in Lüneburg. After the hermit/monk left, a chapel dedicated to Jacob was erected on the site. The site was situated on an important street linking the commercial towns of Lübeck and Frankfurt (Reinhardt, 377). Lüne was a noble foundation, but the convent of S. Michaelis also had a decisive role in its foundation. There is no extant foundation document. A confirmation charter by the bishop of January 9, 1172 refers to an earlier charter of protection bestowed by S. Bartholomaeus (Bartholomew). According to convent tradition, in 1171 Berthold, abbot of S. Michaelis, allowed religious women to establish a community by the Jacob-chapel in Lüne, which belonged to S. Michaelis (Riggert). The women were under the leadership of Hildewidis von Marcboldestorp. Hildeswidis probably belonged to a ministerial family of the Welfs from Marmstorf (Reinhardt, 377). The exact location of the chapel is unknown. It is unclear where the women who formed the convent in 1171 came from; Riggert and Reinhardt both speculate that they may have come from Nordborstold, later Heiligenrode, near Hamburg-Harburg, where members of Hildewidis' family had land holdings (Riggert; Reinhardt, 377-8). Indeed, it is probable that Hildewidis attempted to found the convent on a portion of her inherited property, meeting with the disapproval of her neighbors and being forced to relocate (Reinhardt, 378). Approval of the foundation was given by Duke Henry the Lion and Bishop Hugo of Verden on January 9, 1172. (Hoogeweg thus states that the convent was founded in 1172.) It is likely that the convent first consisted of a group of canonesses rather than Benedictine nuns. The mention of ten inhabitants in 1231 corresponds to this theory. The convent was destroyed by fire twice, in 1240 and on April 30, 1372. It appears that after the fire of 1240 the community became a regular Benedictine convent (Reinhardt, 378). The documents record that three women died in the fires, the nuns Margarete Gevs and Margarete Ditmers, and a "puella scolaris," who was the daughter of the Lüneburger Burgermeister Hartwig Abbenborch. The period between the two fires was a time of internal and external consolidation for the convent. The nuns lived according to the rule of S. Benedict, but little information exists as to their religious practices. No statutes from the community are extant. According to Reinhardt, it appears that the community did not follow the strictest of Benedictine observance. The nuns were permitted to retain private property and inherit freely (Reinhardt, 379). After the fire of 1372 the convent moved to its present location closer to the Ilmenau and the city of Lüneburg (Riggert;Reinhardt, 380).

 
First Members
 

Hildewidis von Marcboldestorpe was the first prioress in 1172. Known prioresses of the community are: Gertrudis (1231); Oldegardis (1284, 1289); Gissa (Gisle, Ghisla) (1299, 1315); Elisabeth (1318, 1329); Lutgarda (1330, 1337); Gertrudis (1339); Alheyd von Barfelde (1341, 1346); Ghyseltrudis Willeri (1349, 1357); Richza (Rixa) (1362, 1369); Mechtildis (1370); Wicburgis (1374); Kunegundis (1375); Mechtildis (1382, 1412); Drude Semmelbecker (1415, 1422); Helena von meding (1436, 1446); Gebeke Moller (1448, 1450); Gertrudis Schomaker (1450); Susanne Munter (1451); Mette von dem Berge (1458, 1468); Berta Hoywe (1468-1481); Sophia von Bodendike (1481-1504); Mechtild Wilde (1504-1435); Elisabeth Schneverding (1535-1540); and Katharina Semmelbecker (1540-1562).

 
Population Counts
 

In 1231 the number of inhabitants was restricted to ten women (canonesses) in addition to the prioress. The number of requests to enter the convent had grown so numerous that in 1284 Bishop Konrad of Verden reduced the number of inhabitants to 60 (Reinhardt, 390). Nevertheless, mention of the number of nuns in 1393 and 1466 indicate that their number had declined. In 1393 there were 57 women, both nuns and laysisters (moniales, conversae et sorores) and in 1466 there were 27 (perhaps only referring to the number of nuns). During the final flourish of monastic life at the convent, the number of nuns climbed to 87 in 1519 (Reinhardt, 384).

 
Priveleges & Papal Exemptions
 

In 1373 Pope Gregory XI confirmed the nuns' right to freely elect the provost of their community (Reinhardt, 380). The was reconfirmed by Urban VI and Bonifatius IX. Pope Martin V freed the provost of Lune in 1425 from the payment of synodal payments to the bishop of Verden.

 
Incorporated Communities
 

Circa 1389 the church in Betzendorf was incorporated into Lüne; from 1272-1536 the church in Rade was also incorporated into the convent. The chapel of S. Gangulfi was incorporated in the community from 1480-1531. The church in Adendorf was partially under the patronage of the convent from the thirteenth century. The church in Handorf was under the convent's patronage since 1282, as was the church in Thomasburg from 1361-1609. The church in Reinstrof was under the convent's patronage from 1361-1609 (Reinhardt, 392). In 1370 the provost, prioress, and convent of Lüne acquired the right of patronage over the vicary of S. Barbara in Lüneburg, and since 1412 the prioress held the right to nominate the priests for the vicarage of S. Elisabeth in the S. John Church in Lüneburg.

 
Visitations
 

In 1481 Lüne experienced its last flowering of monastic life; the community also underwent an internal reform in this year. It is unclear whether the convent was reformed according to the Bursfeld or Windesheim rule (Reinhardt, 383). The prioress and reformer of Ebstorf , Mechtild von Niendorf, came to Lüne on October 19, 1481 with seven nuns. On the following day the provost of Ebstorf along with the deacon of Verden, Otto Vulle, and three other religious leaders visited the convent; however, they did not ascertain any abuses or faults in the community (Reinhardt, 383). Afterwards, prioress Bertha Hoyer and the subprioress were removed however. Instead, the visitors established Sophie Bodendike and Gertrud Eltzen, both nuns of Ebstorf, in these positions. Other nuns from Ebstorf were placed in the offices of sacristra, cellaress, and choir-mistress (Reinhardt, 383). The nuns were also given a new father confessor. It is uncertain whether the reform of the convent resulted in the abolishment of the nuns' ability to own private property, as happened in other convents, such as Wienhausen.

 
Patrons/Benefactors
 

Patrons of the community were the neigboring nobles of Braunschweig-Lüneburg and the Lüneburg bourgeousie.

 
Secular Political Affiliations
 

The convent had close ties to the city of Lüneburg, for its provost numbered among the "Salt-prelates" since 1229; the members helped to elect the "Sodmeister," the highest administrative office of the Lüneburg salt works (Reinhardt, 379). Provost Johannes Weigergang was politically active in the Lüneburger city council and dukedom of Lüneburg. He was frequently active in arbitrations between the city and the dukes. Since 1404 he was also a judge in Modestorp along with the abbots of S. Michaelis and Scharnebeck (Reinhardt, 380). He also served dukes Wenceslaus and Albrecth as chaplain in the fifteenth century (Reinhardt, 381). In 1472 the city of Lüneburg safeguarded its protection of the convent, particularly regarding the election of its provosts and the dangers of war (Reinhardt, 383).

 
Social Characteristics
 

A document of 1231 naming the prioress and ten nuns indicates that they all stemmed from the nobility. Already in the thirteenth century, half of the nuns of the convent stemmed from the local nobility; the other half likely came from the local bourgeousie. Most of the women came from the dukedom of Lüneburg. The convent had especially close ties witht he city of Lüneburg; many families from this city had female relatives in the convent (not only from the highest levels of the bourgeousie) (Reinhardt, 390).

 
Relative Wealth
 

In the twelfth and early thirteenth century the convent's income was rather modest. The community's land holdings increased through personal bequests. As well as rebuilding of the convent in 1372, provost Weigergang secured the financial position of the community and acquired further privileges for the convent. By 1440 under the able leadership of provosts Johannnes Weigergang, Heinrich von Bodenstedt, and Cord van Tzerstede, the convent had achieved a level of prosperity and stability, which it would never reach again (Reinhardt, 381).

 
Assets/Property
 

In 1172 Hildeswidis conveyed her personal property in Nordburstold to the convent. The convent also acquired 13 hides (hide = 120 acres) and interests in the salt works in Lüneburg from the bourgeousie of Bardowikc, the cathedral chapter in Hamburg and noble gifts. Most of the convent's acquisitions of land came from the nobility, while its interests in the salt works stemmed from grants of urban residents (Reinhardt, 386). However, gifts accounted for less of the convent's holdings than purchases. It also acquired the land surrounding the chapel to S. Jacob, probably as a gift from the convent of S. Michaelis (Reinhardt, 378). In the first half of the thirteenth century the convent received property in both Dalldorf and Kalstorf as well as a little income from the salt works. No provost did more to improve the financial position of the convent than Johannes Weigergang. Between 1382 and 1405 he acquired 42 farms, five fields, wood- and fishing-rights, and income from the salt works (Reinhardt, 380). In return he sold only 10 of the convent's farms and a few small tithes and rents in the salt works. He ensured further financial stability for the community by influencing the election of his successor, his nephew Heinrich von Bodenstedt, elected by the nuns in 1412 (Reinhardt, 381). In 1369/70 the convent's salt holdings encompassed 12 salt pans, 51 sections (Chor), 2 Plaustra and 2 rents. The convent was the second largest holder of salt possessions after the (male) convent of S. Michaelis in Lüneburg (Reinhardt, 386). In addition to its salt holdings, the convent also owned land within the city of Lüneburg. The convent acquired its first house within the city in 1271. By 1531 the convent owned six buildings within the city. Since 1391 the convent also possessed a mill in the city. The land-holdings of the convent were primarily concentrated between Ilmenau and Neetze.

 
Income
 

The convent held the patronage over the sacristry of S. Elizabeth in the Johanniskirche (Church of S. John) in Lüneburg. The convent acquired income through its land-holdings in the form of tithes. The convent received tithes from the villages of: Addenstorf, Adendorf, Asendorf, Barendorf, Barnstedt, Barskamp, Berke II, Dibbersen, Etzen, Garlstorf, Hagen, Hittbergen, Holthusen, Holzen, Lüne, Lüneburg, Meckelfeld, Munster, Niendorf bei Reinstorf, Oelstorf, Putensen, Rade, Reinstorf, Rosenthal, Rohstorf, Sülbeck, Vastorf, Volkstorf, Wendhausen, Wendisch Evern, Westerehlbeck and Wittorf. It also benefitted from fishing, wood-, and grazing- rights in the cities of Adendorf, Bleckede, Fliegenberg, Handorf, Leversen, Neetze, Rohstorf, Volkstorf, and Vrestorf. The convent held jurisdictional and administrative rights in Barendorf, Bergen, Dalldorf, Dreilingen, Handorf, Hittbergen, Hohnstorf, Kahlstorf, Rosenthal, Volkstorf, Warpke, Wendhausen, Wiecheln, and Winsen/Luhe. The convent owned mills in Ellringen, Kirchwerder, Lüneburg, Wennekath and Wiecheln. The convent held farms and pasture land in the areas of Adendorf, Asendor, Bardowick, Barendorf, Bargfeld, Barum, Barskamp, Bavendorf, Bauersee Berke I and II, Betzendorf, Bilm, Bohndorf (1172-1315), Boltersen, Brietlingen, Dachtmissen, Dahlenburg, Dalldorf, Deutsch-Evern, Dreilingen (1344-1395), Droegen-Nottorf, Dumstorf, Edendorf, Ellringen, Eyendorf, Garlstorf, Gifkendorf, Hagen, Handrof, Hittbergen, Hohnstorf, Holzen, Horn, Horndorf, Kahlstorf, Karze, Kirchgellersen (1263-1329), Kirchwerder (1312-1332), Kösdorf, Lüdersburg, Lüne, Meckelfeld, Neetze, Niendorf bei Medingen, Niedorf bei Neetze, Nutzfelde (after 1263), Ölstorf, Örzen, Putensen, Rade, Radenbeck, Raetzlingen, Reinstorf, Rosenthal, Sangenstedt, Schaetzendorf, Striksikkesdale, Südergellersen, Sülbeck, Süttorf, Thomasburg, Toppenstedt, Uelzen, Volkstorf, Vrestorf, Wendhausen, Wendish Evern, Wennekath, Wiecheln and Wittorf (Reinhardt, 387). In contrast to the (male) cloister of S. Michaelis, Lüne did not have many properties which it loaned out as fiefs. The conventual income was comprised of agricultural production and the raising of cattle. In addition, within the cloister were employed backers, butchers, and brewers, gardeners, cattle- and sheep-herders, a smith and their servants (Reinhardt, 388).

 
Other Economic Activities
 

The convent engaged in baking and brewing, which may date back to its medieval period, although definite confirmation is lacking. Reinhardt also surmises that the convent had a weaving-workshop within the cloister, although it is uncertain whether the nuns produced their tapestries for economic reasons (Reinhardt, 396).

 
Art & Artifacts
 

Several medieval tapestries survive from the convent of Lüne, dating from 1492-1508. The Banklaken often depict pelicans, thought to sacrifice themselves for their young, a reference to Christ(Reinhardt, 396). In both Lüne and Heiningen the seamstresses stiched their names or initials into the borders of the tapestries, some of which are still visible today (Appuhn, 42). The injunction for monastic work, which experienced a late revival under Prioress Mechtild Wilde, was fulfilled in the tapestries and bench covers (Banklaken) produced by the nuns between 1492-1508. From the medieval period of the nuns' choir remain a chest for holy figures/statues and 2 devotional pictures of Christ suffering, painted on linen. Two processional banners from the fifteenth century are also extant (Reinhardt, 394). The convent also retains a few stained-glass windows from the first half of the fifteenth century which depict saints. An inventory from the fifteenth century lists five silver and golden communion chalices. From the thirteenth century to the first half of the fourteenth century the nuns produced tapestries and liturgical hangings, including the still-extant four altar clothes, three (Fastentücher) Lenten altar clothes, and a white-on-white embroidery on linen (Reinhardt, 396). From 1492-1508 the convent produced four Banklaken and four large woolen embroideries, embroidered with colored wool on linen. The Banklaken depict the legends of S. Bartholomew, S. Katharine, and S. George. The Banklaken depicting the legend of Saint George is preserved in the Kestner Museum at Hannover. Lüne, S. George TapestryLüne, S. George Tapestry (detail)Lüne, S. George Tapestery (detail) The remaining embroideries record the prophecies of the Sybils and prophets, the tree of Jesse, and the arisen Christ. The most beautiful embroidery depicts the Easter story. This famous embroidery is now held in the Hamburg Museum for Art and Trade and is exhibited between Easter and Pentecost. This large tapestry, done in colored wool on a linen background, stretches 475x420cm. The tapestry was originally embroidered by the nuns of the convent in thirteenth different colors, although the work has now faded. The tapestry depicts Christ arising from his tomb within several concentric circles of stars, angels, and phases of the moon. The image is surrounded by bands of text in Latin, taken from the Bible, the Easter liturgy, and hymns. The arisen Christ is surrounded by a band of seven stars and seven angels, perhaps signifying the seven canonical hours or the seven days in the Creation story. The angels are depicted playing a variety of medieval instruments. A larger circle depicting the phases of the moon and indicating the days and months of the year encircles the angels and stars. Underneath the central medallion is a tree with a bird. Two angels stand on either side. In the corners of the embroidery, allegorical animals are depicted: an eagle, a phoenix, a pelican, and a lion, all symbolically associated with Christ. The edges of the embroidery depict roses and mythical creatures. According to Horst Appuhn, the theme of the embroidery turns from the celebration of Easter and the Arisen Christ (in the center) to a joyful celebration of spring in nature (on the edges) (Hamburg Museum für Kunst und Gewebe: Der Osterteppich aus Kloster Lüne., 982). The work includes the initials of the seamstresses as well as the heraldic symbols of Provosts Nikolaus Schomaker and Lorbeer and prioresses Sophia von Bodendik and Mechtild Wilde. The works was begun in 1504 and completed in 1508 (see contributors notes). The style of the figures perhaps show a Norman influence (Hamburg Museum für Kunst und Gewebe: Der Osterteppich aus Kloster Lüne., 983). The convent seal is round and depicts S. Bartholomew standing with a nimbus and full beard. In his raised right hand, he holds a gospel, and in his left hand there is a flag with the words: S[anctus] Bartholomeus. This flag curls around under his feet to his right hand. Individual provosts of the community had their own individual seals (Reinhardt, 401). Only one illustrated manuscript produced by the community is extant; it has an illustration of the Annunciation (see literary works).

 
Architecture & Archaeology
 

No traces of the initial cloister buildings prior to the fire of 1372 exist. The foundation history relates that Hildewidis assumed possession of a previously-built stone church, consecrated to S. Mary. After the fire of 1372 the convent moved to its present location closer to the Ilmenau and the city of Lüneburg (Riggert;Reinhardt, 380). The rebuilding of the convent in its new location was undertaken during the provostship of Weigergang. Lüne, monastic complex The chapel of S. Barbara (the present sacristry) appears to be the first building undertaken after the fire of 1372. Only slightly more recent is the convent church, which was expaned to the west between 1481-1497. The nuns' choir lies in the west side of the church. At one time the church had seven different altars. Under a late flowering of monastic life during the time of Prioress Mechtild Wilde improvements were made to the cloister architecture and the decoration of the church was improved. She and provost Johannes Lorber established an altar to the 10,000 virgins, probably located on the north wall (Reinhardt, 393). The provost's chair, dated to circa 1412, has reliefs of the apostle Bartholomew and Jacob, Mary with child, and the provost Weigergang, under whom the new church was erected (Reinhardt, 394). In 1497 the convent received an organ. The dormitory lay over the refectory on the (west) side of the cloister. In 1482/3 a work-house was erected in the western portion of the cloister enclosure. Since 1500 this work-house was connected with a wash-house. Lüne, former wash house Circa 1509 a weaving house was also built to the south of the convent's hall. The provost's house lies outside the convent walls. Lüne, provost's house A building for the storage of corn was built circa 1550. Lüne, former corn house

 
State Of Medieval Structure
 

The convent still exists.

 
Relics
 

In 1172 by the convent's consecration by the bishop of Verden the convent received some relics of S. Bartholomew. His picture appeared for the first time on the convent's seal in 1274.

 
Manuscript Sources
 

The archives of this community are located in the Lüneburg Klösterarchive, SHstA Hannover, and in the Stadtarchiv Lüneburg. The one illustrated manuscript extant is held in Hannover at the Niedersächsisches Landesbibliothek, Ms. I 94 (HV4).

 
Published Primary Sources
 

[1]HODENBERG, W.v., ed. Lüneburger Urkundenbuch VII: Archiv des Klosters S. Michaelis zu Lüneburg. Celle, 1861- Hannover, 1870.
[2]VOLGER, W.F. Urkundenbuch der Stadt Lüneburg 1-3. Hannover, 1872-Lüneburg, 1877.
[3]Urkundenbuch zur Geschichte der Herzoege von Braunschweig und Lüneburg und ihrer Lande 1-11. Hannover, 1859- Goettingen, 1883.
[4]Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des Nonnenklosters Lüne bei Lüneburg
[5]Topographie und Geschichte des adligen Fräuleinklosters Lüne in Fuerstenthum Lüneburg: 100-115.

 
Secondary Sources
 

Die Luneburger Frauenkloster
Art, Enclosure and the Cura Monialium: Prolegomena in the Guise of a Postscript
Verzeichnis der Stifter und Klöster Niedersachsens vor der Reformation
Kloster Wienhausen
Lüne
Hamburg Museum für Kunst und Gewebe: Der Osterteppich aus Kloster Lüne.
Figürliche Buchmalereien in den spätmittelalterlichen Handschriften der Lüneburger Frauenklöster.
Glaubenstreue der Luneberger Klosterfrauen im 16. Jahrhundert
Möbel des höhen und spaten Mittelalters in den ehemaligen Frauenklöstern um Lüneburg.
Zur Reformationsgeschichte des Klosters Lüne
Nachricht von der Reformation im Kloster Lüne, so von einer papistischen Jungfrau ehemals aufgesetz
Topographie und Geschichte des adligen Fräuleinklosters Lüne in Fuerstenthum Lüneburg
Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des Nonnenklosters Lüne bei Lüneburg
Drei Miniaturen aus den ehemaligen Klöstern Lüne und Ebstorf
Die Lüneburger Klöster und ihr Verhältnis zum Landesherrn
Bildstickereien aus Kloster Lüne als Ausdruck der Reformation des 15. Jahrhunderts
Monastisches Leben in den Lüneburger Klöstern
Bildstickereien des Mittelalters in Kloster Lüne
Kloster Lüne und seine Kunstschätze
Gestickte Bildteppiche und Decken des Mittelalters
Sakrale Weisstickereien des Mittelalters
Textilien I: Webereien und Stickereien des Mittelalters
Ein mittelniederdeutsches Nonnengebetbuch aus Lüne
Kloster Lüne. Geschichte und Baugeschichte
Niedersächsische Bildstickereien des Mittelalters
KRUEGER, F. Stickereien und Gewebe im Kloster Luene. Denkmalspflege, 1910.
KRUEGER, F. Kloster Luene. W. Reinecke und F. Krueger. Lueneburg, 1923.

 
Miscellaneous Information
 

Other patron saints of the convent were Jacob, the Trinity, the Holy Cross, Michael, Benedict, Christopher, and Maternianus. The community flourished under the provosts Johannes Weigergang (1374-1412), Heinrich von Bodenstedt (1412-1433) and Cord von Tzerstede (1433-1440), through whom the convent's holdings were increased and stabilized. In the fifteenth century the community experienced decline, partially due to the provost Dietrich Schaper (1140-1451), who sided with the leader of the opposition versus the city in the Lüneburg Prelate-war (Riggert). In 1451 an attempt was made to depose Schaper as the provost of Lüne; the prioress Susanne Munter wrote in support of Schaper (Reinhardt, 382). Nevertheless, Schaper was deposed in 1451 and excommunicated. Nikolaus Graurock followed Schaper as provost of the community. Under Prioress Mechtild Wilde the previous internal reform of the convent reached its highpoint circa 1504 in a late flowering of monastic thought and life (Reinhardt, 383). Communal meals and seven hours of choir service were reestablished and private property was abolished. The injunction for monastic work was fulfilled in the tapestries and bench covers produced by the nuns between 1492-1508. In 1466 a document mentions the offices held within the convent, including the prioress, sub-prioress, and 2 choir-mistresses (Reinhardt, 390). In 1529 provost Johannes Lorber resigned under force from Duke Ernst and the Protestant Reformation. A protestant preacher was imposed upon the nuns. However, the nuns were not inclinde to accept him. They lit old felt slippers to drive out the Protestant preacher with smoke, sang during his sermons, and when ordered to be quiet, did their rosaries. They held Mass in their private quarters or in the granary (Wiesner-Hanks, 16). On October 10, 1529 they attempted to overpower his sermon through songs(Reinhardt, 384). It is likely that the convent was supported in its opposition to reform and secularization by the city council of Lüneburg. Pressured by the opposition of the nuns, the duke finally promised them the priviledges of their convent and the ability to freely practice their religion. The nuns resisted the Protestant Reformation until 1573 (Riggert). Lüne was forced to accept a Protestant ordinance in 1555, which declared the convent was now an educational center for women; but the women wore Benedictine habits and described themselves as belonging to the Benedictine order until 1610 (Wiesner-Hanks, 18). The convent did not become a completely evangelical women's chapter until 1711.

 
Manuscripts Produced
 

The convent probably had a scriptorium in the Middle Ages, but few manuscripts are extant. During the fifteenth century, many books were exchanged between this convent and Ebstorf. Only one illustrated manuscript from the convent still exists in the Niedersächsisches Landesbibliothek in Hannover, Ms. I 94 (HV4). The work contains an illuminated picture of the Annunciation. The work stems from the fifteenth century (Uhde-Stahl, 30-31).

 
Contributors
 
June Mecham
 
Contributors Notes
 

Part of the text on the famous Easter Tapestry reads: "In the year of the virgin birth 1504 the noble Domina, the prioress Sophia von Bodendik, oversaw the embroidering of this tapestry through the hands of the nuns living at Lüne at that time for the worship of God and his beloved mother Mary and also the saint Bartholomew, the kingly apostles, [and] our glorious patron, in the twenty-third year of the reform of this convent. And in the same year the noble Domina piously departed this life. Her soul rests in peace, Amen." According to Horst Appuhn, between 1492 and 1508 the nuns at Lüne embroidered no less than 85 square meters. Appuhn links this remarkable effort to the Catholic reform undertaken in 1481 and the renewed adherence to the Benedictine rule, specifically the ora and labora it proscribes. Appuhn also contends that such massive embroidery works would have required the building of a workshop within the monastic enclosure. He also states that the nuns received sweets as a reward from the prioress upon the completion of such a work (Hamburg Museum für Kunst und Gewebe: Der Osterteppich aus Kloster Lüne., 983). Since 1711 the community has functioned as a noble protestant women's chapter. The convent was dissolved briefly in the Napoleonic era in 1812/13 but was reestablished after the French withdrew. The convent continues as a noble women's chapter. Information about the convent can be found on the website for the city of Lüne at http://www.lueneburg.de/ The convent exibits its artistic treasures on the week of S. Bartholomew's day (August 24).

 
Date Started
 
1172
 
Length
 
18041