Community ID
Alternate Names
Vallis S. Crucis (1237); marienburghausen (18th century); Mariaburghausen (today)
Medieval Location
originally three hours north of Haßfurt; later Mariaburghausen
S. John the Baptist (currently)
Date Founded
Date Terminated
1580-1582 (circa)
Religious Order
Foundation Information

Circa 1200 a female convent was founded just three hours north of Haßfurt; in 1237 the community was transfered to Mariaburghausen. At this time Mariaburghausen was in the possession of Giboto of Ezelnhausen, who served as a patron of the community as he had for Maidbronn. The convent lay within the parish of Westheim (Link, 607). The convent was established in 1236/7 by Abbess Jutta as a daughterhouse of Heiligenthal. Bishop Hermann of Würzburg confrimed the foundation in January 1237 and recognized the nuns' right to freely elect their abbess as well as their freedom from a provost, although the bishop retained jurisdictional rights over the convent's goods (Krausen, 72-3). At the time of its foundation, the bishop sold the convent half of the village of Marburghausen, exempted the convent from tolls and divided the convent from the mother-church of Knetzgau. The abbot of Bildhausen was given the task of spiritual supervision over the convent.

Priveleges & Papal Exemptions

In 1255 Pope Alexancer IV confirmed the convent's privileges. In 1263 and 1303 Popes Clement IV and Benedict XI expanded the nuns' privileges, granting the nuns' the same rights over their private possessions as they would have held had they remained in the secular world (Krausen, 73).

Dependency Of
Other Ecclesiastical Relations

The abbot of Bildhausen acted as the spiritual advisor of the convent.

Relative Wealth

The convent experienced financial difficulties during the sixteenth century, particularly due to the peasant's war.


The convent's possessions consisted of 771 acres of fields, 567 acres of meadow, and 1051 acres of forest (Link, 607). The convent also held rich possessions in the surrounding villages.

Architecture & Archaeology

The convent church was rebuilt in the fourteenth century and has the general characteristics of female Cistercian conventual churches (Krausen, 73).


The convent contained considerable relics which gained it a reputation as a pilgrimage destination.

Manuscript Sources

The archival materials for the community are found in the Hauptstaatsarchiv in München (Munich) and in the Staatarchiv in Würzburg as well as in the German national-museum in Nürnberg.

Miscellaneous Information

The convent was damaged by fire in 1287. In 1456 the convent community was accussed of neglecting to observe strict claustration. In 1492 and 1498 the episcopal bishop called for stricter observances in the convent. On March 17, 1582 Abbess Ursula von Rüsenbach died; she was the only inhabitant of the convent at this time. After her death the convent was dissolved by Bishop Julius Echter with papal permission and the income from the convent was transferred to his newly-founded University (Krausen, 74).

Conversi/ae and servants

The convent had conversi under the supervision of a provost, who belonged to the community of Bildhausen.

Admin. Notes

Link says the community was founded as a female convent of 'Bernardinerinen'? same as community 2421 (deleted 8/24/99) june

June Mecham
Date Started
Date Finished