S. Walburg
Community ID
Alternate Names
S. Walburg in Eichstätt, Abtei Eichstätt
Modern Location
Eichstätt; in the governmental district of Upper Bavaria.
Corporate Status
S. Walburg(a)
Date Founded
1035 (see "foundation information," below)
Date Terminated
Religious Order
Benedictine (by 1035)
Foundation Information

This community was originally established for Augustinian canons circa 779 and remained as such until 1035, according to Kramer (199). Bishop Otger of Eichstätt is credited as the founder of the original community circa 850-880. It was dedicated to S. Walburga, a sister of the first bishop of the diocese of Eichstätt, S. Willibald. In 1035 Count Leodegar von Lechsgemuend-Graisbach (Graisbeck über dem Grabe) established the community of Benedictine nuns here. The Benedictine convent continued until 1803/6.

Art & Artifacts

The convent is famous for the devotional pictures (Andachtsbilder) painted by its nuns. See Nuns As Artists: The Visual Culture of a Medieval Convent


The community is famous for the oil of Walburga. Circa 870 the bones of S. Walburga were transferred to the convent from the double house of Heidenheim, where the abbess died. During the Middle Ages, the convent was a popular pilgrimage spot because of the oil of S. Walburga.

Manuscript Sources

The Staatsbibliothek Preußischer Kulturbesitz contains a Liber precum (16th c.), owned by Maria Viktoria Wolffin, #Germ. 8o572, as well as another manuscript from the community, #Hs. s.n. St. Walburg in Eichstätt possesses several of the works from the convent's library, including a manuscript of the legends of S. Walburgae (14th c.), #Lat. 1; another Misc. canon., 1438, written by Christ. Grammatzsch, #Lat. 2; two manuscripts, one from Rebdorf, #Germ. 2, and the other from Reichenbach, #Germ. 3. It also preserves a miscellany of mystical and aescetic works, (15th c.), #Germ. 4; In pass. domini, written by marg. Zürlin, #Germ. 5; a handbook of the convent, (15-16th c.), #Germ. 6; another miscellany of mystical and aescetic works (15-16th c.), #Germ. 7; a Walburgishandbuch (15th c.), #Germ. 8; and a Legend of S. Walburgis (16th c.), #Germ. 9. Another Liber precum from the community, dating from the eleventh century, is held in the Zentralbibliothek in Zürich, #C 171 (442). Other works which may have belonged to the convent are held in the Staatsbibliothek in Munich, #Clm 29315/52; in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nürnberg, #18526; and in the Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart, #HB. XIII. 2.

Secondary Sources

Nuns As Artists: The Visual Culture of a Medieval Convent
Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands
Das Wirken der Orden und Klöster in DeutschlandHandschriftenerbe des Deutschen Mittelalters, vol. 1, p. 199-200.
LECHNER, Joseph. Die spätmittelalterliche handschriftengeschichte der Benediktinerinnenabtei St. Walburg, Eichstätt, 1937.
Die Abtei St. Walburg 1035-1935 (Eichstätt, 1935).
SINNIGEN, P. Ansgar. Katholische Frauengenossenschaften Deutschlands, 27.
Hist. Staetten, 149-154.
BACKMUND. Kollegiatestifte, 127.

Miscellaneous Information

This convent was a famous pilgrimage spot because of the oil of S. Walburga.

Manuscripts Produced

Two Liber precums exist from this community as well as two copies of the legends of S. Walburg. Two manuscripts containing mystical and aescetic works as well as two handbooks of the convent indicate some of the holdings of the convent's library.

June Mecham
Contributors Notes

Walburga was the sister of Willibald, the first bishop of the diocese of Eichstätt, who along with Lioba and Thekla made up part of the group of Anglosaxon Benedictine nuns that came with Boniface to Germany. In 1835 the convent was reestablished under King Ludwig I of Bavaria, and in 1914 it again achieved the status of an abbey. http://www.bayern.de/HDBG/ks/ksstart.htm

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