Seligenporten
Community ID
 
2405
 
Alternate Names
 
Felix Porta (1249); Seldenporten (1253)
 
Town
 
Neumarkt
 
Diocese
 
Eichstätt
 
Modern Location
 
Pyrbaum; in the governmental distrcit of Oberpfalz; in the region of Neumarkt
 
Dedication
 
the visitation of Mary (today: Ascension of Mary)
 
Date Founded
 
1242 (circa); 1247-1249
 
Date Terminated
 
1556-76 (circa); final dissolution in 1803 (see miscellaneous)
 
Religious Order
 
Cistercian (until 1576)
 
Rule
 
Benedictine (until 1576)
 
Foundation Information
 

Around 1230 several women, living communally but without a rule, moved to Neumarkt and elected Adelheid as their head. They gained permission from the city to establish a conventual life in near-by Pilsach without adhering to a definite rule. Reportedly the community grew and had already reached the number of 45 when Count Gottfried of Sulzbürg and his wife Adelheid of Hohenfels granted land and property for the foundation of a convent in 1242 (Krausen, 89). The convent was incorporated within the Cistercian order and placed under a father-abbot from Heilsbronn. In order to instruct the women in the 'spirit' of the Cistercian order, the convent received an abbess from Maidbronn, named Fridruna (Fedran). In 1249 Bishop Heinrich IV of Eichstätt confirmed the gifts of Gottfied of Sulzbürg. In the same year King Konrad IV placed the young convent under his protection and appointed the dukes of Nürnberg as patrons and advocates for the convent (Krausen, 89-90).

 
Population Counts
 

In 1242 there were 45 women in the community.

 
Other Ecclesiastical Relations
 

The abbot of Heilsbronn had the task of spiritual supervisor over the nuns of Seligenporten.

 
Patrons/Benefactors
 

Count Gottfried of Sulzbürg and his wife Adelheid of Hohenfels provided the community with property and land for the foundation of a convent in 1242.

 
Social Characteristics
 

Most of the nuns came from the nobility.

 
Relative Wealth
 

Through donations and the rich dowries of the inhabitants the convent's property was greatly expanded. By the time of its dissolution the convent held 65 farms with 183 dependents. In 1299 the convent acquired secular jurisdiction over its dependents, and in 1317 it obtained spiritual jurisdiction as well (Krausen, 90).

 
Art & Artifacts
 

The convent's symbol was a crowned Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus in her right arm and a rose branch in the left. She sat on a chest.

 
State Of Medieval Structure
 

The still extant portions of the cloister belong to the western portion of the convent church with its nuns' choir, dating from the thirteenth century and in the High Gothic style. After 1803 many of the buildings fell into private hands and the buildings were largely destroyed.

 
Manuscript Sources
 

The convent's archives are located in the Haupstaatsarchiv in München (Munich) as well as in the Staatsarchiv in Amberg and in the cloister archive of Seligenporten (primarily documents from the twentieth century).

 
Miscellaneous Information
 

Between 1413/1429 the father abbot grew concerned with increasingly lax discipline within the convent. The convent resisted the encroachment of the Protestant Reformation. Although the convent was ordered to reform in 1556, Abbess Anna von Kuedorf and a fellow nun (the only two remaining nuns in the convent) raised such a resistance that only 20 years later could the government in Amberg dissolve the convent. After the Counter-Reformation and with the reestablishment of catholicism in the region, the convent's goods were transfered to the convent in Amberg (1667). From 1667 until its dissolution the convent belonged to the Order of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The final dissolution of the convent occurred in 1803. In 1930 the remaining cloister buildings were acquired by Cistercian monks from Bonnauch/Tauber and in 1931 the new abbey was consecrated.

 
Admin. Notes
 

further sources?: Buchner, F. X. Regesten des Klosters Seligenporten 1242-1342, Jber. Hist. Ver. Neumarkt 3 (1906), 48.
Romstöck, F. Die Kloester und Stifter der Diöcese Eichstätt, SmblEi 30 (1915), 77.

 
Contributors
 
June Mecham
 
Date Started
 
1242
 
Date Finished
 
1556
 
Length
 
3192