Niederschönenfeld
Community ID
 
2401
 
Alternate Names
 
Schoenevelt (1241); Schoennevelt inferior (1269); Campus speciosus inferior (1508)
 
Town
 
Neuburg
 
Diocese
 
Augsburg
 
Date Founded
 
1241 or earlier
 
Date Terminated
 
1842 or earlier
 
Religious Order
 
Cistercian
 
Rule
 
Benedictine
 
Foundation Information
 

Count Berthold I (of the family of Graisbach-Lechsgemünd) and his wife, Adelheid, founded this convent. The exact foundation date is unknown. The community developed next to the S. George church in Burgheim and may originally have consisted of a group of Beguines. On January 9, 1241 the community was moved to "Schoenenvelt" and assumed a regular lifestyle (Krausen, 74). On this date, Bishop Siboto of Augsburg acting as the curren "Ordinarius" confirmed the relocation of the convent, which was already considered a member of the Cistercian order. The convent had complete freedom from advocacy. Pope Innocent IV took the foundation under his protection in 1254 and recognized its exemption from the bishop of the diocese. In 1322/23 King Ludwig granted the convent complete freedom from duties and taxes as well as its own jurisdiction over its dependents, except criminals receiving capital punishment (Krausen, 75). The abbot of Kaisheim held spiritual authority over the convent; the abbot generally sent two fathers to Niederschönenfeld, one to serve as the father-confessor to the nuns and the other as the parish priest.

 
Population Counts
 

Under Abbess Gertraud Marschallin of Donnersberg (1337/43) the convent numbered 80 sisters and 18 novices (Krausen, 75).

 
Other Ecclesiastical Relations
 

Duke Albrecht V took an active hand in maintaining the nuns' discipline within the convent. The convent became a model of conventual life and sent its well-disciplined nuns to other convents to aid in their reform efforts: in 1565 to Frauenwörth, and in 1573 to Oberschönenfeld and Seligenthal.

 
Patrons/Benefactors
 

In 1322/23 King Ludwig counted himself as a particular patron of the convent.

 
Social Characteristics
 

Most of the inhabitants of the convent came from the nobility; it remained a noble community until the time of its dissolution.

 
Relative Wealth
 

The convent received numerous rich gifts and acquired wealth through the generous dowries of its inhabitants.

 
Assets/Property
 

The conversion of Ottheinrich of Neuburg to Protestantism brought with it the alienation of many of the convent's rights and goods.

 
Other Economic Activities
 

The convent held numerous patronage rights in other parishes.

 
State Of Medieval Structure
 

The convent church was rebuilt after the Thirty Years War in an early Baroque style.

 
Manuscript Sources
 

The convent's archives are found in the Hauptstaatsarchiv and in the Kirchenarchiv in München (Munich).

 
Miscellaneous Information
 

During the Thirty Years War the convent suffered plundering and burning, and the nuns had to flee the convent.

 
Conversi/ae and servants
 

The convent was supported by the agricultural work of lay-brothers provided by the abbot of Kaisheim (Krausen, 75).

 
Admin. Notes
 

Further source?: Baader, J. Geschichte des Frauenklosters Niederschoenenfeld, Arch. F. Gesch. D. Bistums Augsburg 1 (1856): 173-460.

 
Contributors
 
June Mecham
 
Date Started
 
1241
 
Date Finished
 
1842
 
Length
 
2305